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Ocado sees 9.7% sales growth despite Andover fire

Online supermarke Ocado has reported interim results for the 26 weeks ended 2 June 2019 showing a 9.7% Retail Revenue growth, despite the Andover warehouse fire in February, demonstrating the resilience of the business.

The group has already claimed millions of pounds back from its insurers and eventually expects to be able to reclaim all the cost. Even so, the cost of the fire in Hampshire drove it to £142.8m half-year loss and knocked 2% off its sales.

Fees invoiced from Solutions partners stood at £122.7m, up 36% on the same period in the prior year, with fees from international partners almost doubling.

Group EBITDA was £18.7m reflecting the combined impacts of the Andover fire, IFRS 15 delaying the recognition of fees from international Solutions partners as revenue, and the cost of share schemes.

Tim Steiner, Chief Executive Officer of Ocado, said, 'In the last six months the centre of gravity at Ocado Group has shifted. Our exciting new joint venture with M&S creates further growth opportunities for both parties in the UK and allows Ocado Group to increase focus on growing our Ocado Solutions business and innovating for our partners.

'At the same time we are beginning to apply our technology skills and expertise to other related activities which we expect to be of benefit to our Solutions partners as well as to other Ocado Group stakeholders.

'The innovation factory we have created is founded on a near twenty-year heritage of constant re-examination and reinvention of technology to provide the best customer experience.

'We have never had as many opportunities to grow as we do today. As we look to successfully scale our business and deliver outstanding execution to our partners, our challenge will be to select and prioritise the most attractive of these opportunities.”