Ocado delivered "exactly what it said on the tin" at the time of its July flotation in terms of sales for the past year.

Sales increased by 29% to £552.1m for the 52 weeks to 28 November 2010, the online retailer said in its latest trading statement.

Average orders per week increased by 28% to 99,741, compared to 77,914 in 2009 for the 16 weeks in Q4.

"When you float a company people can be quite sceptical" said chief financial offier Andrew Bracey.

"But we have done exactly what we said on the time when we floated back in July – that we expected sales growth of up to 30% and that is exactly what we have delivered."

The key Christmas trading period produced a 26.7% rise in gross sales over the four weeks to 26 December, to £50.9m.

Chief executive Tim Steiner said: "In some weeks we actually had sales over 30% but we had to take precautions to ensure that deliveries got through during the snow.”

Ocado said measures to combat the bad weather had paid off, with the retailer managing to deliver 98% of customer orders in the month to 26 December.

In Christmas week, gross sales were up 43.5% to £12.3m.

“This would not have been possible without the heroic efforts of our staff rising to the challenge of delivering a record number of orders in sometimes challenging conditions,” Steiner added.

Shares in Ocado have enjoyed mixed fortunes since listing in July, dropping to an all-time low in October but climbing steadily for the past few weeks.

Last week the shares’ value rose about the initial listing price for the first time.

Read more
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