Ocado reports an 11.5pc increase in sales as it rolls out new robot warehouses

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(qlmbusinessnews.com via telegraph.co.uk – – Tue, 18th Sept 2018) London, Uk – –

Online supermarket Ocado has reported an 11.5pc increase in retail sales in its latest quarter as it continues to invest heavily in automated warehouses.

The grocery business reported an average of 283,000 orders per week, up 11.4pc in the 13 weeks to Sept 2, with average order size remaining stable at £106.

Chief executive officer Tim Steiner said performance from its newest robotic warehouses at Andover and Erith was helping to meet consumer demand.

“Together, Andover and Erith provide new opportunities for growth in our UK retail business while showcasing the scalability, adaptability and efficiency of our platform,” said Mr Steiner.

Although the rate of growth slowed during the period, from 11.7pc in the first half of 2018, the retailer’s sales are still in line with its guidance for the year.

“We are on track to deliver a significant number of new CFCs [customer fulfilment centres] for our Solutions partners in the coming years and as such are fulfilling our goal of changing the way the world shops,” added Mr Steiner.

Although the rate of growth slowed during the period, from 11.7pc in the first half of 2018, the retailer’s sales are still in line with its guidance for the year.

“We are on track to deliver a significant number of new CFCs [customer fulfilment centres] for our Solutions partners in the coming years and as such are fulfilling our goal of changing the way the world shops,” added Mr Steiner.

The company's ‘Solutions' arm was recently buoyed by major deals to run services for a number of overseas grocers, most notably Kroger in the US.

Laith Khalaf of Hargreaves Lansdown said: “Ocado continues to experience growth in its UK operations, though it’s the promise of overseas expansion which has seen the share price treble in the last year.

“Ocado recently achieved promotion to the FTSE 100 and its equity market value is now greater than the likes of Morrison’s, Royal Mail and M&S. It still needs to turn overseas partnerships into profits, and details of its commercial relationships with US retailer Kroger are still being hammered out.”

By LaToya Harding