Ocado shares leap as group sales soar 19% compared to the same time last year

OcadoREUTERS/Suzanne PlunkettAn Ocado leaves the Ocado depot in Hatfield, southern England July 21, 2010.

Ocado, the online delivery supermarket, revealed that group gross sales for the 12 weeks to 22 February 2015 soared 19%, when compared to the same time last year.

In a trading update statement for the first quarter, Ocado also confirmed that average orders per week also rose by 18.1%.

“Our business continued to grow, against a backdrop of a retail market that remains challenging and competitive,” said Tim Steiner, CEO at Ocado in the trading statement.

“We remain committed to improving the quality of the proposition to customers, which we believe will support further growth. Notwithstanding the uncertainty that remains in the marketplace, we expect to continue growing slightly ahead of the online grocery market.”

Investors reacted positively to the trading update. Ocado’s stock price jumped by nearly 3% within the first two hours of trading.

“Increasingly, it feels like Ocado is starting to walk the walk,” said Phil Dorrell, director of the retail consultants, Retail Remedy in an emailed statement.

“Ocado is proving not just a successful online grocer but a powerful IT and Operations developer for other retailers. We certainly wouldn’t rule out other large scale collaborations in the future.

“Growth continues to be solid in a brutally competitive market. The reason is a service level and quality kudos that other grocers often miss. Opening the Midlands site clearly had a massive impact for Ocado in terms of operational delivery and service.

“Tim Steiner has played a long hand and is only now getting the return he always dreamed of. The current growth trajectory is vey solid and he must be looking at other markets as the UK demography reaches its natural limit.”

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