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Ocado posts strong sales growth despite driver shortage

Online grocery retailer Ocado saw its quarterly retail revenue climb by 11.6% to £373.8 million despite a driver shortage impacting sales growth.

FOOD & DRINK

Ocado posts strong sales growth despite driver shortage

Online grocery retailer Ocado saw its quarterly retail revenue climb by 11.6% to £373.8 million despite a driver shortage impacting sales growth.

The retailer grew its average orders per week by 11.1% to 280,00 in the 14 weeks to 3 December. The average order size was also up, rising by 0.3% to £106.11.

Ocado said the sales growth came despite a shortage of capacity. The company’s chief executive Tim Steiner explained: "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.”

The retailer said it has made good progress in increasing capacity at its state of the art customer fulfilment centre in Andover where average orders per week have risen by 50% since the beginning of quarter.

Steiner added: "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.”

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