Ocado half year retail sales up 19.8%
Online grocer Ocado saw its retail revenue climb by 19.8% to £1.2 billion in the first half of its financial year after it continued to benefit from a shift to online shopping during this year’s Covid-19 lockdown.
In the six months to 30 May, the retailer cut its pre-tax loss to £23.6 million from £40.6 million in the same period in the previous year.
As Covid-19 restrictions start to ease, Ocado said demand for online grocery deliveries remains strong. At the end of the period, Ocado Retail was serving 777,000 active customers, which was 22% more than a year ago.
Tim Steiner, Ocado chief executive, said: “As we head towards a post Covid-19 future, it is increasingly clear that the landscape for grocery worldwide has changed, for good. Over the last eighteen months, we have shown that the Ocado model works even in the most challenging and fluid of environments.
“That ours is a proven model in online grocery has been again demonstrated by the strong performance of Ocado Retail, the historic core of the Ocado business, which has led the market in customer experience, increasing sales by 20% in the period, thanks to a significant increase in customer numbers, while continuing to show sustainable and industry-leading profitable growth.”
The company said it opened three customer fulfilment centres in the half year compared to two in the corresponding period in 2020. These included a first mini facility in Bristol and two customer fulfilment centres Ohio and Florida in the US for Ocado Smart Platform customer Kroger.
Despite baskets sizes moving towards pre-pandemic levels in the second quarter, Ocado said it is maintaining its full year outlook and does not expect a material change to its consensus group EBITDA forecast.
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