Ocado has claimed it has “largely overcome” over the capacity constraints that dogged it throughout 2011.

The online grocer made the claim after announcing a rise in total sales of almost 11% over the past three months. Sales for the 12 weeks to 19 February hit £162.1m, up from £146.2m for the equivalent period last year.

With the Hatfield fulfilment centre operating at “record levels of capacity”, average orders per week grew by 13% to 116,987. But the average basket was down slightly from £118.06 to £115.49.

“We have continued to work hard on developing the offer for our customers,” said chief executive Tim Steiner. “Specific focus has been placed on price and range initiatives, including growing our own label and non-food offers, as well as the continued roll out of our Saving Pass scheme, supporting our objective of offering our customers the widest range at highly competitive prices.”

He added: “Despite the continuing economic headwinds in the UK, more and more consumers are seeing the benefits of online grocery shopping.

“Evidence suggests we have largely overcome the operational challenges we faced in expanding our Hatfield capacity in the second half of 2011, and are set to meet growing demand through the rest of the year.  We expect to see acceleration in sales growth as the year progresses.”