Belfast Telegraph

Deliveries deal helps online grocer Ocado hit milestone

By Holly Williams

Online grocer Ocado delivered another double-digit hike in sales as it notched up 250,000 orders in a week for the first time.

The group posted a 15.3% rise in group gross sales - which is boosted by its deal to handle online deliveries for Big Four supermarket Morrisons - to £312.4m for the 12 weeks to February 21, while retail sales lifted 13.8%.

Ocado said it had hit its weekly orders milestone since the end of its first quarter despite ongoing tough trading in the grocery sector, which is gripped by a fierce price war with discounters Aldi and Lidl.

But the size of its average order slipped 2.9% to £111.41 during the first quarter, in a sign of the pressures in the sector.

Tim Steiner, chief executive of Ocado, said: "We are pleased with the steady progress in our business, maintaining double-digit sales growth in a retail environment that remains challenging."

Its trading update comes amid concerns over the impending threat from US online giant Amazon after it struck a deal last month with Morrisons to sell "hundreds" of its products online.

Belfast Telegraph