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Gloucestershire Business News

Sales and losses up at Ocado

Online supermarket, Ocado, has reported a big rise in sales - and big losses - for 2019.

Sales were up 10.3 per cent during the year ending 1st December, but the impact of a huge fire at its Andover warehouse early last year contributed to a loss before tax of £214.5 million.

Tim Steiner, chief executive of Ocado Group, said: "We are pleased to report results which show strong momentum in the business. Although statutory results reflected a combination of factors, including the impact of the Andover fire, the underlying performance of Ocado Retail and the successful growth of Ocado Solutions were very encouraging.

"Our progress over the last twelve months, which includes signing our eighth and ninth Solutions clients, Coles in Australia and Aeon in Japan, and successfully maintaining strong growth post-Andover, has demonstrated many of Ocado Group's most important characteristics: resilience, innovation, focus and execution. It is these qualities that will enable us to continue to develop the Ocado Smart Platform to meet the evolving needs of our partners at the cutting edge of online grocery retail.

"The landscape of grocery retailing globally is changing. We are excited to be able to play a leadership role through Ocado Retail, our joint venture with M&S, and through our Solutions partnerships, as we fulfil our mission of changing the way the world shops."

The retailer cut its ties with Waitrose last year, but has signed a a lucrative deal with Marks & Spencer to bring M&S products to online shoppers for the first time.

The company created 1300 jobs during 2019, about half of them in technology and engineering.

Ocado has recently announced plans to open a customer fulfillment centre in Bristol, with capacity for 30,000 orders per week.

During 2019, Ocado increased its product range by seven per cent to 58,000 items and cut food waste from 0.8 per cent to 0.4 per cent, which it believes is the lowest in the industry.

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