Ocado posts strong revenue rise
New customer growth of over 30% helped Ocado to increase its revenue by 18.2% to Â£507.7 million in the 24 weeks to 17 May.
Gross retail sales climbed by 15.7% to £511.9 million while EBITDA rose to £38.2 million from £34.3 million in the same period last year.
Statutory pre-tax profit was £7.2 million, down from the £7.5 million in the equivalent period last year.
The online groceries retailer said the strong new customer growth was underpinned by an increasing proportion from a broader set of customer demographics. There was also a rise in the number of active customers, which grew by 18.9% to 471,000 year-on-year.
Tim Steiner, chief executive of Ocado, said: "The channel shift towards online grocery shopping continued during the period, with the broader grocery market remaining characterised by intense price competition and deflationary pressures.
"Against this backdrop, our relentless focus on customer satisfaction continues to drive customer numbers and like-for-like sales ahead of the online grocery market. The resilience of our business model and increasing operational leverage also mean that we have grown operating profit despite these industry headwinds.”
Ocado said it had maintained stability in its average basket size by item despite some decline in selling prices.
The company, which delivers groceries for Waitrose and Morrisons, said it had continued to discuss potential partnerships with multiple international parties in the period with a view to them utilising its Ocado Smart Platform.
Steiner added: "Our continuous commitment to constant innovation in technology not only allows us to give industry-leading service to our customers at home but to offer our end-to-end platform solution to retailers outside the UK. We are excited by the possibility and reiterate our target of signing a first agreement during 2015."
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