Internet grocer Ocado expects year-on-year gross sales growth of around 21 per cent for the first half of it’s financial year (the 24 weeks to May 15th), according to a statement from today’s AGM.
Sales have slowed in its second quarter compared to the previous three months, but this was expected due to “capacity constraints and the higher incidence of holidays”.
Ocado said it is encouraged by its current performance and continues to drive profitable growth, with EBITDA conversion on incremental sales likely to be at 12 per cent for H1, compared to 9.1 per cent at the same time last year.
In today’s AGM statement, Ocado will say: “As previously stated the Hatfield customer fulfilment centre (CFC) remains capacity constrained in the near term.
“Investment is continuing at the Hatfield CFC to increase weekly order capacity and to expand the range of products offered to customers.
“The construction of the second CFC at Dordon, in Warwickshire, commenced as planned before Easter 2011 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2012.”
Plans for non-food are also in development, with the company having entered into a lease on a 100,000 sq ft warehouse close to Hatfield to support the expansion of this area of business.
The last quarter also saw Ocado begin delivering to customers in Wales and the West Country following the opening of a new regional distribution spoke in Avonmouth, Bristol.