Ocado has recorded another quarter of revenue growth, although it admitted heavy snow and winter storms adversely impacted sales in the final weeks of the period.
The online grocery retailer reported an 11.7 per cent rise in retail revenues to £363.4 million for the first quarter to March 4, but in the final week nearly one per cent off its sales were wiped off as it battled to deliver orders in the “most trying conditions”.
It comes after sales growth was also held back in final quarter of last year, when a shortage of drivers saw sales growth slowdown to 11.6 per cent compared to the 13.1 per cent growth recorded in the third quarter.
Ocado also saw its average order size slip by 0.4 per cent or 40p to £110.45 in the most recent quarter – which included the busy Christmas period – as inflation was offset by customers buying fewer items in each shop.
Meanwhile, average orders per week rose by 11.1 per cent to 280,000.
“We operated at maximum capacity for most of the quarter and were impacted by the winter storms that caused widespread disruption during the final week,” chief executive Tim Steiner said.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my colleagues who nonetheless succeeded in delivering nearly 300,000 orders over the last week of the quarter, often in the most trying conditions.”
Ocado said it was “confident” of sealing more international tie-ups after recently signing a major deal with Canadian retailer Sobeys and French supermarket giant Groupe Casino.
The online retailer added that its fourth and biggest distribution centre in Erith, Kent, was on track to open in the middle of the year.
Once open, it will be able to handle an extra 200,000 orders a week.