LONDON, Sept 13 British online grocer Ocado
reported a 13.6 percent rise in quarterly retail sales
but said the intensely competitive market was causing margin
pressure and cautioned it would not go away any time soon.
The firm, whose range includes products supplied by upmarket
supermarket Waitrose, said gross retail sales were
286.4 million pounds ($381.6 million) in the 12 weeks to August
7, its fiscal third quarter, up from 252 million pounds in the
same period last year.
That compares to first half growth of 13.9 percent.
"As the market remains very competitive, we are seeing
sustained and continuing margin pressure and there is nothing to
suggest that this will change in the short term," said Chief
Executive Tim Steiner.
But he said he still expected Ocado to grow ahead of the
online grocery market, and substantially ahead of the market
He highlighted a 19 percent increase in average orders per
week to 226,000 in the period - Ocado's best performance in over
Ocado shares have had a rollercoaster ride since they
debuted at 180 pence in 2010.
Analysts see winning international agreements with retailers
in north America and western Europe as the key influence on
Ocado's stock market valuation. However, the company missed its
target of securing a deal by the end of 2015 and is still to
Last month Ocado did, however, agree an amended distribution
deal with Morrisons, Britain's No. 4 supermarket, which
boosted sentiment in the stock.
Its shares have increased 11 percent over the last month and
closed Monday at 322 pence, valuing the business at 2 billion
pounds ($2.7 billion).
($1 = 0.7506 pounds)
(Reporting by James Davey; editing by Kate Holton)