Saturday 20 October 2018

Beast from the East bites online grocery Ocado’s performance

Ocado has reported a £9m (€10.2m) loss for the six months to 3 June.
Ocado has reported a £9m (€10.2m) loss for the six months to 3 June.
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Online grocery Ocado has reported a £9m (€10.2m) loss for the six months to 3 June.

This is a considerable swing on the profit of £7.7m reported in the same period in 2017.

The company said that its retail revenue growth of 11.7pc to £736.6m had been impacted by the sever weather in the first quarter of 2018. Earlier this year Ireland and the UK were battered by the ‘Beast from the East’ storm.

Earnings at the company dropped 13.9pc to £38.9m, according to the group’s half year report.

The group said it expects its retail earnings to improve significantly over the course of the second half of 2018.

However it warned that it expects a decline in its Solutions division earnings as it makes a further £4m investment in its capabilities and in its platform.

"This is a transformational period for Ocado," Tim Steiner, chief executive of Ocado, said.

"We have developed unique and proprietary technology to offer retailers an end-to-end operating solution for grocery retail that enables them to meet the changing needs of consumers."

"In order to fully capitalise on the opportunities ahead of us, we are working at pace, investing more and focussing sharply on execution to bring on new capacity in the UK and to achieve successful outcomes for our partners."

The group said that its average hypermarket basket value was broadly stable at £108.18, almost unchanged on the same six month period in 2017, with the ongoing trend of ordering on mobile phones, resulting in customers ordering slightly smaller baskets more frequently, offset by price inflation.

However the group said that, assuming economic conditions remain broadly stable, it remains confident of achieving revenue growth in its retail business of between 10-15pc in the 2018 financial year, as it increases its fulfilment capacity and grow market share in the UK.

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