Six months after floating on the London Stock Exchange online grocer Ocado has reported healthy growth in sales for its full-year, fourth quarter and Christmas trading periods.
During the 52 weeks to November 28th gross sales grew by 29 per cent compared to 2009, whilst gross sales for the last 16 weeks of that period improved by 27.4 per cent year-on-year.
The holiday season was a particularly strong trading time for the retailer with sales up 43.5 per cent during Christmas week and 26.7 per cent higher in the four weeks to December 26th.
Andrew Bracey, Chief Financial Officer of Ocado, said: “Ocado had a very strong end to the year, with gross sales increasing by 27.4 per cent in the final quarter.
“Both sales and EBITDA growth have continued the trend observed in the first three quarters, with gross margins remaining stable and EBITDA in line with company’s expectations.
“We are delighted that sales growth has continued at 29 per cent for the whole year, in line with expectations at the time of the IPO.”
Ocado managed to grow it average orders per week during Q4 by 28 per cent compared to 2009 but the average order size was slightly down year-on-year from £112.67 to £112.12.
Tim Steiner, CEO of Ocado, said: “We are delighted to see the continued growth in demand for Ocado, a record number of customers shopped with us in this period.
“This would not have been possible without the heroic efforts of our staff rising to the challenge of delivering a record number of orders in sometimes challenging conditions.
“Our plan for dealing with extreme weather conditions enabled us to make over 98 per cent of deliveries in the affected period.”
Since the company floated market worries have persisted that, despite a growing and loyal customer base, Ocado would continue to struggle to make profits as an independent operation.
These encouraging results will help dispel some of these concerns but all eyes will be on the retailer’s full-year results which are yet to be published.