Quarterly revenue rises by 11.6% for Ocado

Ocado Group plc has today announced its trading statement for the 14 weeks to 3rd December 2017, showing growth in Revenue (Retail) of 11.6%, at £373.8m.

Good progress was made in improving resiliency at the firm's state-of-the-art facility at Andover (CFC3). Average orders per week at CFC3 were up by 50% since the beginning of the quarter.

Overall, average order size was stable as inflation picks up, offsetting slight increase of order frequency as more customers take up Ocado Smart Pass. Orders per week rose to 280,000, a rise of 11.1% in like-for-likes.The average order total grew by 0.3% to £106.11.

As at 3 December 2017, the group had cash and cash equivalents of £150m and external borrowings of £285.2m.

Tim Steiner, Ocado's Chief Executive Officer, said, 'We are pleased to report another quarter of progress in both our retail and Ocado Solutions businesses.

'We are encouraged by the progress we have made ramping up capacity at our revolutionary Customer Fulfilment Centre in Andover which has supported further growth in our retail business in the UK.

'Over the last few weeks, we have processed over 50% more orders per week through the Andover facility compared to the beginning of the period. We are making good progress with the resiliency issues we highlighted with the third quarter results and although there is still work to do we are on track with our plans.

'We are also delighted that Groupe Casino chose to partner with Ocado Solutions to develop its online food business and we remain confident in our ability to sign more deals such as this in the medium term.'

Steiner continued, 'While we continue to report sector leading double digit sales growth in our retail business, a shortage of capacity, with the lack of drivers in certain locations being the largest factor, restricted our sales growth. While this driver shortage has now been largely resolved, there was some short term impact on average orders per week over the period.

'We continue to work towards the opening of our fourth CFC, in Erith, South East London, in 2018. At scale, Erith will be able to process an additional 200,000 orders per week. Building scale and capacity in the UK will support the sustainable growth of our retail business, enabling us to take further market share in online grocery, and we look forward to the coming year with confidence.'