Ocado is bracing itself to lose out on a payout from Marks & Spencer worth almost £200m as faltering sales raise the prospect of their joint grocery delivery venture missing performance targets (The Times £).

Ocado’s chief executive has admitted its tie-up with Marks & Spencer has been a disappointment so far, amid signs of tensions between the grocers (Telegraph).

Speaking after the online supermarket reported a £289m loss for the six months to May 28, Tim Steiner said its joint venture with M&S was ‘not where we wanted it to be’ (Mail).

The business editorial in The Times (£) focuses on the fact that Ocado is still delivering “stocking losses”.

Ocado shares have jumped to the top of the FTSE 100 after the online grocer and tech firm returned to an underlying profit in the last six months (The Mail).

The UK is “over the worst” of soaring food price inflation, according to the head of Ocado, but the online grocer warned that it would take time for prices to moderate (Financial Times £).

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has welcomed the easing of UK grocery price rises for a fourth consecutive month, ahead of eagerly awaited official inflation data today (Financial Times £).

The annual pace of grocery price growth cooled to 14.9% over the four weeks to 9 July, down from 16.5% a month earlier, according to the retail industry data provider Kantar, dropping to the slowest annual rate of growth since Christmas (The Guardian).

It marks the fourth consecutive month of annual price declines, easing pressure on cash-strapped Britons at the tills (Mail).

All but one of Britain’s major supermarkets have lost market share to Aldi and Lidl as the German discounters lure shoppers with low prices (Telegraph). Only Sainsbury’s – Britain’s second largest supermarket – maintained its market share during the period after it overhauled its Nectar card loyalty scheme in April.

Aldi sales rose 24% in the three months to 9 July while Lidl enjoyed a 22% increase (Mail).

A business editorial in the Telegraph thunders that “Sainsbury’s is the only grocer with the guts to resist the Aldi invasion” as the latest market share data showed “a quiet resurgence” by the supermarket.

UK food and drink manufacturers cut prices for the first time in more than three years in June, passing lower production costs down the supply chain, new research suggests (Mail).

John Allan, the former Tesco chairman, is to see out the remainder of his term at Imperial College London weeks after he stepped back from the role amid unsubstantiated claims about his behaviour, according to Sky News.

Pret A Manger has turned an annual profit for the first time in five years, driven by the success of its coffee subscription service and an international expansion push (Financial Times £).

The Times (£) says that looking beyond London helped Pret to its first profit since 2018.

The coffee and sandwich chain reported profits of £50.6m for 2022 having racked up losses of £225.9m in 2021 (Mail).

Vladimir Putin ordered the seizure of Danone and Carlsberg’s Russian operations after businessmen close to the Kremlin expressed an interest in the assets, according to people close to the decision (The Financial Times £).

Moscow has appointed a Chechen minister as the new head of yoghurt maker Danone’s Russian subsidiary, according to the Spark-Interfax database (BBC News).

McDonald’s has apologised to UK staff over fresh allegations of sexual assault, harassment and a toxic work culture in its restaurants, months after the fast-food chain signed a legally binding agreement with the equalities watchdog to clear up its act (Financial Times £).

The publication of a BBC investigation on Tuesday caused a storm in Westminster (The Guardian).

The BBC’s probe that found workers as young as 17 claiming they were being groped and harassed almost routinely.

McDonald’s should terminate franchise deals if branches are “not following labour law”, the chair of the Business and Trade Committee has said (BBC News).

Labelling restaurant food as vegetarian or vegan may do more harm than good if the aim is to coax people into eating less meat, a study suggests (The Times £).

An opinion in the Financial Times (£) says Brussels should ignore industry bellyaching about food health ratings. “Lobbyists are opposing EU moves to adopt Nutri-score labels, but the public health benefits are clear”.