Ocado has reported a 14.4% increase in quarterly sales as it confirmed it is in talks with Morrisons to help the supermarket build its own online grocery offering.
The online grocer said sales had grown to £185.5m for the 12 weeks to 24 February. It also said average orders per week were up 12% and the average order size rose 2.2% to £117.99.
“We maintained the momentum in sales growth and new customer acquisition with which we entered the year,” said Ocado CEO Tim Steiner.
“We successfully opened CFC2 [a second distribution centre] last month on time and on budget, and this substantially increases our capacity to serve the growing demand from many more customers who like shopping online for their groceries.”
Ocado said its talks with Morrisons may lead to an agreement to license some of Ocado’s technology, with the aim of helping Morrisons launch its own online grocery business. It added that the negotiations do not involve Morrisons buying a stake in Ocado and that any agreement would be complementary to its existing partnership with Waitrose.
Shares in Ocado were up 25% at 171p in early trading today.