Ocado earnings jump 79pc after Morrisons tie-up

Guy Bentley
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Ocado has not made a pre-tax profit since its founding in 2000 (Source: Flickr)

Online grocer Ocado has reported a rise in gross sales of 15.6 per cent for the 24 weeks ended 18 May, broadly in line with what had been expected.

Analysts at Deutsche Bank had forecast that Ocado would report that gross retail sales in the second quarter grew by 15.3 per cent, compared to 18 per cent in the first three months.

Ocado also managed to move into the black with a pre-tax profit of £7.5m compared to a loss of £1m in 2013, putting the company in position to record its first annual pre-tax profit.

The grocer has not made a pre-tax profit since its founding in 2000.

However, the company's earnings before interest and tax brought further good news for Ocado, jumping by 79 per cent to £34.3m, thanks in part to a tie-up with Morrisons.

Revenue was also on the up, climbing by 21 per cent to £430m.

Tim Steiner, chief executive officer of Ocado, said:

The successful launch of Morrisons.com was particularly encouraging and paves the way for future agreements to commercialise the value of our intellectual property. We continue to invest to take advantage of partnership opportunities in the future as the demand for online grocery shopping increases internationally.

The company also confirmed the long awaited third warehouse for grocery deliveries, which will be located in Andover, Hampshire. The new warehouse is set to open at the end of 2015 and is expected to cost £30m during 2014.

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