Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

First Profit in 15 Years for Online Grocer

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

First Profit in 15 Years for Online Grocer

Article excerpt

ONLINE grocer Ocado has made an annual profit for the first time since it was founded nearly 15 years ago, figures from the company reveal.

Ocado, which delivers goods for both Waitrose and Morrisons, produced a bottom-line surplus of PS7.2m after sales jumped by nearly 20% to PS948.9m in the year to November 30.

Chief executive Tim Steiner said the company continued to grow ahead of the online grocery market and significantly ahead of the wider market, which has been the subject of intensifying competition in recent months.

The company's number of active customers stood at 453,000 at the end of the financial year, with their average spend coming in at PS112.25. Ocado is some 18 months into a PS170m 25-year delivery partnership with Morrisons but its long-running deal with Waitrose allows the upmarket grocer to pull out in September if it wishes. Shore Capital retail analyst Clive Black said: "After a decade and a half of trying, Ocado has worked out how to deliver baked beans, ice cream, Jaffa cakes and chipotle chillies without booking a bottom-line loss. …

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