Thursday 7 February 2019 11:05 am

Ocado share price burnt by 48-hour blaze at robotics centre


Reporter covering retail and property. Email stories to seb.mccarthy@cityam.com

Reporter covering retail and property. Email stories to seb.mccarthy@cityam.com

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Ocdo’s share price suffered a 12 per cent dip this afternoon as investors continued to digest the news of a 48-hour blaze that has disrupted operations at one of the delivery giant’s major distribution centres.

Late last night firefighters continued to tackle the blaze, which started early on Tuesday morning, at Ocado’s Andover distribution centre, with the delivery giant sending out its vans to help those evacuated by authorities yesterday.

Read more: Ocado shares slide as 24-hour blaze burns sales growth

The police have now lifted the evacuation around the area, with Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service saying the blaze is no longer considered to be a major incident.

The FTSE 100 firm's share price, which has more than doubled over the last 12 months, tumbled seven per cent this morning, after falling five per cent yesterday following Ocado’s warning that the fire was likely to dent sales.

The Andover site, which accounted for roughly 10 per cent of Ocado’s capacity and can process roughly 65,000 orders a week, has suffered substantial damage, with contents being destroyed and the building's roof collapsing.

In a statement this morning Ocado said: “Since our last update, the fire brigade has continued to work to bring the fire at Andover under control. Due to concerns over the presence of pressurised refrigerants on site, the police conducted a limited evacuation of the immediate area on Wednesday evening.

“Ocado vans with food, drink, nappies and other essentials were sent to Andover and hotel rooms were made available for those who had to leave their homes during the night. We would like to thank the large number of local businesses that came to the assistance of the community.


Read more: Ocado’s revenue nears £1.6bn but losses widen

“We apologise to all those affected by this incident and are very thankful to the people of Andover for their understanding and support during this difficult period.

“As previously announced, there has been substantial damage to the Andover building and its contents. Ocado is working hard to minimise disruption for customers by increasing capacity at other facilities. Ocado is grateful for the patience and understanding of customers during this period.”

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