Ocado EBITDA up 23.9% as losses narrow
Online grocer Ocado said its EBITDA rose 23.9% to £34.5 million last year while revenue increased by 11% to £664 million.
In the 53 weeks to 2 December, the company narrowed its pre-tax loss to £0.6 million from £2.4 million in the previous year.
Ocado said it had improved the shopping experience for its customers in the year by launching new mobile apps and by sending text messages to customers indicating the expected 25 minute delivery windows within the one hour slots. It also introduced real time order tracking and new services allowing customers to login to Ocado using their Facebook accounts, and to start shopping through the BBC Good Food recipe website.
The company extended its range by more than 40% to over 28,000 products. It also grew its number of active customers to 355,000 from 298,000 at the start of the year.
In 2013 Ocado plans to open a second distribution centre in Dordon. The company’s ability to grow faster has been constrained by a shortage of capacity at its current customer fulfilment centre in Hatfield. The new centre will create over 1,000 jobs.
Tim Steiner, chief executive officer of Ocado, said: "We continued to achieve double digit sales growth during 2012 with increasing rates of sales and new customer momentum as we moved into 2013. This has been driven by further improvements to our core offer to customers - better value, wider ranges and enhanced service.
"Shopping online for groceries is clearly of increasing importance to consumers. In 2013, we will continue to improve the attractiveness of Ocado to customers and we shall substantially increase our capacity with the opening of our second fulfilment centre, creating over 1,000 jobs in the Midlands."
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