Ocado ends transformative year with double digit fourth-quarter sales rise

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Ocado M&S

Ocado has reported double-digit increases in revenue and average orders per week during its fourth quarter, although the average order value dipped over the same period.

For the 13 week-period ending December 2, the online grocery retailer said sales increased 12 per cent to £390.70 million, compared to the 11.5 per cent growth recorded in the previous quarter.

The average order value slid one per cent to £104.91 during the period, but average orders per week rising 13.1 per cent to 320,000.

Ocado also reported that by the quarter’s end, it had cash and cash equivalents of £411 million and external borrowings of £286 million.

It added that the new capacity it had brought on stream at its robotic distribution centres in Andover, southern England, and Erith, near London, had enabled it to achieve double-digit growth in new customer acquisitions for the period.

“Our unrelenting focus on delivering consistent high levels of service and value to our customers in the UK has produced another quarter of satisfying growth,” chief executive Tim Steiner said.

Of the facilities in Andover and Erith, Steiner added: “Both facilities are performing well and Erith continues to ramp up in line with our expectations.”

In July Ocado forecast retail revenue growth of 10-15 percent for the full 2017-18 year.

Shares in the retailer have risen 126 per cent over the last year after a series of high-profile overseas technology partnerships, including its biggest yet with US grocer Kroger.

“Although in many respects 2018 has been a transformative year for Ocado, the story has only just begun,” Steiner said.

“We look forward to the coming year and continuing to turn our substantial opportunities into sustainable value for all our stakeholders.”

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