Ocado has forecast its “best-ever Christmas ahead” and said it anticipated mid-teens sales growth for 2022.
In a trading update for the 13 weeks to 28 November, the grocer said there was “strong momentum in under-lying demand”.
It posted retail revenue of £547.8m for the quarter. This was compared to £570.1m in the same period in 2020, when shoppers turned online in waves to avoid leaving home amid the pandemic.
In 2019, before the pandemic, it reported £416.2m retail revenue – marking a growth of 31.6 per cent since.
After opening one rapid grocery site in West London, a second Zoom site is expected in 2022. A Canning Town site will open in the second quarter of 2022, with three additional sites planned for the second half of next year.
Melanie Smith, Ocado retail’s chief executive officer, said: “The investments we have made over the past year mean we have significant capacity for growth in 2022 and we will continue to invest in facilities, systems and people in the year ahead to deliver on our long-term growth potential. We are working hard to manage current industry challenges, and Ocado Retail has great momentum as we get ready for another record Christmas and further strong progress next year.”
These sites will generate average revenues of around £20m per year, the grocer said.
Shares were up almost five per cent in early trading on Tuesday morning.