Ocado to expand delivery area in England and Wales

RECENTLY-listed online grocery firm Ocado is set to begin delivering to homes in south-west England and south Wales from March, adding 1.5m extra households to its delivery capacity.

The company has bought a distribution centre near Bristol to facilitate the expansion, which will create 100 new jobs in the area.

The move comes after Ocado earlier this month announced plans to build a second warehouse in North Warwickshire for £210m, in order to invest in its distribution.

The new facility, which will create up to 2,000 jobs, will eventually add capacity for 180,000 further orders per week.

Ocado has had a rough time of it in the past couple of months, after struggling to get away its initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange in July. The company, which has yet to turn a profit, was forced to slash its price at the eleventh hour from the original price range of 200p-275p to just 180p a share.

Since then, the shares have fallen even further over continued concerns over Ocado’s strategy, falling to lows of 123.5p before recovering slightly to trade at around 137p at the close of play on Friday. The poor performance comes in spite of the company reporting a 30 per cent boost to quarterly sales last month.