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Ocado poised to sign international deal this year

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British online supermarket Ocado said in its Q3 trading update today that it expects to continue growing slightly ahead of the online grocery market and remains confident of signing its first technology deal with an overseas retailer this year as it continues talks with "multiple partners”. 

In 2013 Ocado signed a third-party deal with Morrisons which helped the publicly traded company reach its first annual profit in February, having made £7.2m in the year to November 30. 

It emerged then that Ocado was closing in on a deal with an international retailer, which would allow it to expand outside the UK for the first time. The grocer had developed a system that enables it to sell its technology to overseas retailers. 

"We’re still targeting to sign one this year," ChiefFinancial OfficerDuncan Tatton-Brown told reporters. 

"It's been a busy summer as it would need to be if we're going to achieve the target that we set out," he added. 

The company has previously mentioned north America and western Europe for a deal that would see it licence its technology. 

Gross retail sales for the grocer, which include revenue from its Fetch pet store and Sizzle homeware division, rose 15.3% to £252m in the 12 weeks to August 9, having increased 15.7% in its first half. 

"We are pleased with the continued steady growth of ourbusinessin a retail environment that remains tough," said Steiner. 

"We believe our commitment to improving what we offer to customers through innovation and our proprietary [intellectual property] will support further growth,” he added. 

Ocado's average orders per week grew 16.6% to 190,000, although average order size dipped 1.1% to £110.46 as consumers continue to shop little and often. 

Published on Tuesday 15 September by Veebs Sabharwal

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