Ocado boss hails '˜robust trading' as customer base grows

Online grocer Ocado has notched up a healthy rise in full-year profits as it continues to grow its customer base.

Tim Steiner

Pre-tax profits rose 21.8% to £14.5 million in the year to November 27, its third consecutive year in the black.

The group, founded in 2000, only managed to turn its first profit before tax in 2015.

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Revenue rose 14.8% to £1.27 billion as boss Tim Steiner hailed “robust trading” in a challenging environment.

He said: “We are pleased to announce results today which reflect robust trading in our core business and shows continued progress against our strategic objectives in what has been a challenging retail environment.”

Ocado grew its customer base by almost 14% to 580,000, with growth in average orders per week approaching 18% to 230,000.

However, the grocer saw average order sizes fall 2.7% to £108.10 after taking a hit from the enduring supermarket price war.

The battle for shoppers, sparked by the rise of German duo Aldi and Lidl, has engulfed the sector and has seen all of the so-called Big Four supermarkets - Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons - come under pressure.

The City is still awaiting details of a much-anticipated international deal for Ocado but on this front the firm said only that it is in “continued discussions with multiple international retailers”.