British online supermarket Ocado Retail said revenue rose 39.7% in its first quarter to February 28, an acceleration from the previous quarter, driven by strong grocery delivery demand due to the pandemic.
The joint venture between Ocado Group and Marks & Spencer, said revenue rose to £599 million, up from £429 million a year earlier.
Revenue growth in the previous quarter was 34.9%.
It said average orders per week increased 2.5% to 329,000, while the average order size was £147.
Online's share of the UK grocery market has more than doubled over the year of the crisis, reaching 17% in February, according to market researcher Nielsen.
The first quarter is the last one before comparative numbers become considerably harder as the pandemic started boosting sales significantly from March 2020.
Ocado aims to ramp up capacity over the course of 2021. Last month it opened one mini robotic warehouse, or Customer Fulfilment Centre (CFC), in Bristol, western England, and plans to open two standard-sized CFCs this year.
"Over the past year, large numbers of UK consumers have made a permanent shift to online grocery shopping," commented Melanie Smith, Ocado Retail chief executive. "Ocado Retail is best placed to serve these customers as we continue to improve the customer experience through the joint venture with M&S, adding new products, offering greater value, and maintaining high customer service levels.
"Q2 2021 represents the one year anniversary of the start of the Covid-19 pandemic which accelerated the demand for online grocery; while this year's quarterly sales figures will reflect the year-on-year comparisons with periods of full lockdown, we expect strong growth over the coming years as we continue to lead the charge in changing the UK grocery landscape, for good."