ONLINE grocer Ocado yesterday announced that it had outperformed its traditional supermarket rivals over Christmas, adding it was confident about prospects in 2015 despite an escalating price war.
The firm, whose range includes products supplied by upmarket grocer Waitrose, said sales growth in December continued at the rate it achieved in the final quarter of its 2013-14 financial year.
On the company’s biggest day in the run-up to Christmas, sales climbed 15 per cent from 2013 to almost £6m.
Gross sales for the month of December were also up 14.8 per cent on the same period last year.
Tim Steiner, the chief executive officer of Ocado, commented: “Our focus remained on delivering the highest service levels at this very important time for customers, while offering the widest range at competitive prices.”
Chief financial officer Duncan Tatton-Brown said: “We look forward to 2015 with some confidence and expect to continue growing sales slightly ahead of the online grocery market.”
Troubled market leader Tesco said last week its grocery home shopping sales increased 12.9 per cent over the six weeks to 3 January.
Sainsbury’s said its home shopping sales were up six per cent in its latest quarter.
Morrisons, a late entrant online through a supply deal with Ocado, said on Tuesday that online sales contributed one per cent to its like-for-like performance in its Christmas trading period.
All the “big four” grocers, which also includes Asda, have cut prices in an attempt to stem a loss of market share to discounters Aldi and Lidl and are expected to cut more this year.
Ocado operates price matching schemes, comparing prices against Tesco and baskets of items. “We’re not concerned if there’s a little bit more price activity in the market,” said Tatton-Brown.
Shares in Ocado closed down 1.44 per cent at 404p.