Britain's largest online electricals retailer AO World has warned today that supply chain issues, product shortages and rising costs were hammering its all-important peak trading period.

This all prompted the retailer to slash its profit outlook.

The company's shares, which have lost nearly 70% of their value since the start of the 2021, fell 27% today after its second profit warning in two months.

Trading was significantly weaker than anticipated only eight weeks ago, the company said, with poor availability in certain categories, particularly new products.

Retailers globally have been struggling with shortages and delays as economies opened up to stagnant supply chains and tightening labour markets. Britain is also adjusting to having fewer workers from the European Union.

"Our results over this period have inevitably been affected by the constraints and uncertainty seen across our industry," AO World founder and Chief Executive John Roberts said, while adding the company has cemented the progress of last year when profits tripled.

AO World, which sells laptops, washing machines, mobile phones and printers, saw profits soar during the pandemic as most people worked from home, but in October warned that profit would fall as a lorry driver shortage disrupted supply chains.

The company, which has recruited about 500 new drivers, said full-year sales are now expected to be flat to 5% lower.

It cut its annual adjusted core profit outlook to a £10-20m range for the 12 months ending March 31 next year, from £35-50m earlier.

It had reported profit of £64m for fiscal 2021, and an operating loss of £11m for the six months ending September 30, compared with a profit of £16m a year before.

Earlier this month larger rival Currys said it was well stocked for the Black Friday and Christmas periods despite supply chain disruption.