Ocado has cut its operating losses by almost two-thirds in the past six months, as the online retailer gears up for its long-awaited stock market flotation.

Losses for 24 weeks to 16 May fell to £2.7m – down by 63% from the £7.4m Ocado lost for the equivalent period last year. Sales were up almost a third (30%) to £246m, with Ocado registering more than 100,000 weekly orders for the first time in the seven days to 10 May.

Ocado also finally confirmed plans for its debut on the London Stock Exchange.

It hopes to raise £200m through the initial public offering, with shares available to staff and all customers that have spent more than £300 with Ocado since 1 January as well as institutional investors.

“Despite the difficult retail environment we have grown at a substantial rate in 2010,” said chief executive Tim Steiner.

“Since its inception, Ocado has been built on delivering a superior customer offering in terms of quality and freshness of produce and convenience, reliability and accuracy of delivery.

“With new long-term sourcing and branding arrangements in place with Waitrose, Ocado is well placed for further growth and this IPO marks a significant milestone in the Ocado story.”

Read more
Second Opinion: Is Ocado a sound investment? (19 June 2010)
Ocado share offer to loyal shoppers might backfire, say analysts (12 June 2010)
Ocado touts shares to half a million shoppers (8 June 2010)