Ocado posts 40% rise in Q4 sales

Ocado has posted a 40% rise in sales in Q4.

The online grocer said that it saw a “dramatic and permanent shift” towards online shopping, which has increased over the course of the pandemic.

In the 13 weeks to 28 February, revenues increased 39.7% to £599m.

Melanie Smith, Ocado Retail’s chief executive, commented on the trading update: “Over the past year, large numbers of UK consumers have made a permanent shift to online grocery shopping. Ocado Retail is best placed to serve these customers as we continue to improve the customer experience through the joint venture with M&S, adding new products, offering greater value, and maintaining high customer service levels.

“We opened one mini Customer Fulfilment Centre in Bristol last month, which gives us capacity to serve more customers and with the opening of Purfleet and re-opening of Andover, both later this year, we ultimately expect to ramp our overall capacity by 40% with these sites.”

Also commenting on the new figures, AJ Bell investment director, Russ Mould, said:

“Ocado’s latest update focuses on its joint venture with Marks & Spencer rather than the whole group, which means we don’t get the news people really want to hear – namely if it has managed to sign up any new grocery customers for its technology platform,” said Mould.

“The venture with Marks & Spencer is doing well, so there is reason to be cheerful when looking at Ocado’s performance. Revenue has been soaring which reflects how the country continues to flock to the online channel to buy food and drink. Ocado is increasing capacity for order volumes via new mini fulfilment centres.”