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Ocado reports sales ahead of market but losses significant

Ocado has posted its interim results for the 26 weeks ended 3 June 2018, showing earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) has fallen to £38.9m, a 13.9% dip in like-for-likes.

Pre-tax losses fell to £9m, when a year ago it celebrated £7m profit, due to severe weather conditions across the UK.

However, growth in sales were significantly ahead of UK market at 11.7% versus 2.3%. and the group has scontinued to invest in the business with robot-operated warehouses.

Active customers were up 12.8% to 679,000 (1H 2017: 602,000). Total order volumes now an average of 291,000 orders per week (1H 2017: 260,000 OPW), with the highest number of orders delivered in a week exceeding 315,000.

Average hypermarket basket value was broadly stable at £108.18 (1H 2017: £108.45), with the ongoing trend of ordering on mobile phones, resulting in customers ordering slightly smaller baskets more frequently.

Tim Steiner, CEO of Ocado, said, 'This is a transformational period for Ocado. 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 the past six months we have partnered with some of the world’s, biggest, best and most innovative retailers to help them redefine the shopping experience for their own customers. As a result, we are beginning to fulfil our ambition to change the way the world shops.

'The success of our technology platform continues to be demonstrated by our UK Retail business, where Ocado continues to outpace our competition in terms of our service offering and our growth.'

Steiner concluded, 'We have just opened our latest state-of-the-art Customer Fulfilment Centre, which, once at full capacity, will be the largest automated warehouse for online grocery retail in the world and will showcase the scalability, adaptability and efficiency of our platform.

'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.

'We are confident that we have the ability to scale-up the business, deliver on our commitments, drive sustainable growth and deliver value to all our stakeholders.'