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Patient Ocado shareholders received a boost on Tuesday as the online grocer posted better-than-expected full-year profits. However, the stock soon came off the boil as news of an international deal remained stubbornly elusive.

Shares leapt 10.5% by lunchtime after Ocado revealed a 14.8% increase in sales in the year to 27 November to £1.27bn and a 21.8% jump in pre-tax profits before exceptional items to £14.5m.

But as the City digested a less than rosy outlook for the year ahead, the share price settled back down to just 2.3% higher at 250.1p - and is at the time of writing down 3.6% for the week. Group EBITDA of £84.3m was well below market consensus and margins were also under pressure.

Bruno Monteyne of Bernstein highlighted that profitability was falling even before the switch-on of the new CFC in Andover last year. “EBITDA missing before we get full impact of the new CFC reducing efficiency means we can expect management to guide down profitability expectations for next year,” he said.

Retail analyst Nick Bubb said Ocado’s failure to deliver the long-awaited overseas licensing deal weighed heavy. CEO Tim Steiner was bullish in a presentation to sceptical analysts and said confidence in being able to sell the Ocado smart platform to overseas retailers was actually increasing.

“An analyst noted discussions have been going on for two years now and asked what’s been stopping overseas retailers from signing up,” Bubb added. Steiner replied that prospective retailers first wanted to see the capabilities of Andover and the new Morrisons store pick software.

Sandwich maker Greencore attracted investors with its 17% rise in first-quarter sales to £417m as rapid growth in UK and US food-to-go continued. Shares climbed almost 8% to 235p as a result.

Martin Deboo of Jefferies said: “Despite the EPS dilution of the Peacock acquisition in FY18, we see long-term value in the deal, driven by its transformational impact on the US business, synergy with the UK business and alignment with category growth and the broader trend to outsourcing.”