Revenue and earnings registered double-digit growth at online grocer Ocado (OCDO) in its first half, up 18.2% to £507.7m and 11.4% to £38.2m respectively.
Gross sales for the six months to 17 May, which are made up of revenue plus VAT and marketing vouchers, climbed 15.7% from £442.4m a year ago to £511.9m.
The average number of items in baskets remained unchanged, with average basket value declining to from £114.43 to £111.68 thanks to the impact of price deflation.
Ocado, which broadened its range versus a year ago from 35,000 SKUs to more than 45,000, also boosted active customer numbers from 396,000 to 471,000.
The online grocer said discussions were continuing with “multiple potential international partners”, with a target to sign the first agreement this year, but was light on any details.
CEO Tim Steiner added: “The channel shift towards online grocery shopping continued during the period, with the broader grocery market remaining characterised by intense price competition and deflationary pressures.
“Against this backdrop, our relentless focus on customer satisfaction continues to drive customer numbers and like-for-like sales ahead of the online grocery market. The resilience of our business model and increasing operational leverage also mean that we have grown operating profit despite these industry headwinds.
“Our continuous commitment to constant innovation in technology not only allows us to give industry-leading service to our customers at home but to offer our end-to-end platform solution to retailers outside the UK. We are excited by the possibility and reiterate our target of signing a first agreement during 2015.”
After climbing last week, and being one of only a handful of grocery stocks to register a rise yesterday, shares in Ocado have fallen more than 3% on opening to 417p.
Yesterday in the City
The deepening crisis in Greece sent shockwaves throughout financial markets across the world yesterday, with grocery shares on the London Stock Exchange mostly in the red yesterday. Global share also markets had a tough day as the German DAX dropped by 3.6%, the French CAC fell 3.7% cent and the FTSE 100 ended the day down 2% (133 points) at 6,620.
Premier Foods (PFD), Coca-Cola HBC (CCH) and Carrefour (CA) were three of the worst effected stocks, down 4.4% to 37.8p, 3.4% to 1,381p and 3% to €29.36 respectively. Most other grocery and fmcg stocks on the LSE were down by more than 1% with only McColls Retail Group (MCLS), Ocado (OCDO), AG Barr (BAG), Thorntons (THT) and Britvic (BVIC) moving up.