Ocado increased first quarter sales despite ‘Beast from the East’ disruption

Ocado Van/10 10/Flickr

(qlmbusinessnews.com via telegraph.co.uk – – Tue, 20 Mar 2018) London, Uk – –

Ocado managed to eke out double-digit revenue growth in the first quarter of its financial year despite the ‘Beast from the East’s’ heavy snow disrupting its deliveries.

The online supermarket said it lost around 1pc of revenues in the quarter due to the bad weather but still notched up sales growth of 11.7pc to £363m in the 13 weeks to March 4.

The growth came despite a slight fall in its average order size, down 0.4pc to £110.45, as it attracted 280,000 orders per week, up 11.1pc.

Tim Steiner, chief executive, said he was “pleased” with the performance, which was in line with the company’s expectations,  despite the snow causing “widespread disruption during the final week”.

Ocado has been attempting to recast itself as a business-to-business supplier of grocery retail technology as well as being an online supermarket in its own right.

It recently signed deals to build automated warehouses and provide its platform to French supermarket chain Groupe Casino and Canada’s Sobeys. Mr Steiner said he remained confident Ocado’s business arm “will be able to do further deals with the momentum of new signings building over time”.

Ocado said it had made “good progress” in ramping up capacity at its own Andover warehouse and was on track to open its fourth, in Erith, south-east London later this year.

Mr Steiner added: “Taking advantage of the opportunities ahead of us is both challenging and exhilarating. The business is firmly looking forward.”

By Jack Torrance