Britain's Ocado Counts Cost Of Fire At Flagship Warehouse

By Steve Wynne-Jones
Share this article
Britain's Ocado Counts Cost Of Fire At Flagship Warehouse

British online supermarket and technology group Ocado has reported an increase in annual pretax losses and a 27% fall in core earnings, mainly due to a fire which destroyed a hi-tech flagship warehouse in Andover, southern England.

Ocado, whose shares have risen 35% over the last year due to overseas technology deals, said on Tuesday its loss before tax widened to £214.5 million (€253.9 million) in the year to December 1 2019 versus £44.4 million (€53.5 million) in 2017-18.

The loss reflected exceptional charges of £94.1 million (€111.25 million) relating to the write-down of the Andover site.

Ocado made earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of £43.3 million, versus a re-stated £59.5 million for 2017-18.

That outcome, which also reflected accounting changes and the costs of share schemes, was broadly in line with analysts' consensus forecast.


Looking Ahead

For the 2019-2020 year Ocado forecast retail revenue growth of 10-15% and international technology fees of 40% or more.

It forecast EBITDA from retail above its revenue growth. However, EBITDA from UK solutions & logistics and from international solutions was forecast to decline.

Prior to Tuesday's update analysts' average forecast for 2019-20 EBITDA was £33 million.

News by Reuters, edited by ESM. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

Get the week's top grocery retail news

The most important stories from European grocery retail direct to your inbox every Thursday

Processing your request...

Thanks! please check your email to confirm your subscription.

By signing up you are agreeing to our terms & conditions and privacy policy. You can unsubscribe at any time.