UK-based online retailer Ocado has reported that revenue increased by 12.5%, to £659.6 million, for the 26 weeks ending 28 May 2017 – the first half of its financial year.
The company also reports that EBITDA was up by 2.7%, to £45.2 million, driven by a reduction in unfunded promotional activity and improved operating efficiencies, offset by cost inflation and further investment.
However, Ocado's net debt also rose to £102.4 million due to 'significant capital investment in innovation and capacity'.
The online grocer says that order volumes grew by 15.6%, to an average of 260,000 orders per week, during the first six months of 2017. The number of active customers has increased by 12.7% year on year, to over 600,000.
However, average basket-size value declined by 1.4%, to £108.45, which, the company says, was impacted by the continued uptake of Ocado Smart Pass and reduced multibuy promotions.
"As the channel shift to online advances, we continue to gain share in a competitive UK market," said Tim Steiner, CEO of Ocado.
"We expect the trend for grocery shopping online to continue, as consumers become more tech-savvy and gain confidence in the online services available. Ocado will be a natural beneficiary of that trend, thanks to its industry-leading customer offer. We continue to build new facilities in the UK in order to meet the increasing demand we see."
Ocado has been working with UK supermarket chain Morrisons to expand its online grocery business, recently announcing a new international partnership with an unnamed European retailer.
"Grocery retailing is changing, and we are ideally positioned to enable other retailers to achieve their online aspirations," added Steiner.
"We expect our recently announced international partnership to be the first of many, and look forward to helping more retailers provide a high-quality service to their customers in this rapidly evolving market."
© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Sarah Harford. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.