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Ocado flags Olympics concerns as it reports rise in sales

Online grocer Ocado has reported a 12% increase in its first half sales to £332.3 million. However profits were flat at £0.2 million as its customers took advantage of discounts and offers.

CITY & CORPORATE

Ocado flags Olympics concerns as it reports rise in sales

Ocado's EBITDA rose 4.5% £14.9 million in the 24 weeks to 13 May while revenues increased by 11.4% to £308 million. However, the grocer said its third quarter was difficult to forecast due to the combined effects of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations and the Olympic Games.

"The grocery market and the general economic picture remain challenging and uncertain," said chief executive Tim Steiner.

"The third quarter is particularly hard to forecast as we have already seen some disruption from the Jubilee events, and there is uncertainty as to the effect of the forthcoming Olympic Games, but we expect sales growth to increase in second half 2012 overall," he said.

In the first half of 2012 the company saw its on-time delivery performance and order accuracy rates rise to 93.2% and 98.3% respectively. However, the average order size fell 0.9% to £113.10.

Ocado has also announced the appointment of Duncan Tatton-Brown as new chief financial officer. Tatton-Brown will join the grocer on 1 September from Fitness First Group where he is currently finance director. He succeeds Andrew Bracey, who left Ocado in January to join recruitment consultants Michael Page.

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