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Technology

Ocado Sees Return To Underlying Profit In First Half

By Reuters
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Ocado Sees Return To Underlying Profit In First Half

Ocado, the British online supermarket and technology group, kept its financial guidance for the year as it reported a return to underlying profit in its first half.

Ocado, whose shares surged last month after a report of possible takeover interest from Amazon, made earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of £16.6 million (€19.3 million) in the six months to May 28 versus a loss of £13.6 million (€15.8 million) in the same period of its 2021-22 year.

'Operational And Financial Discipline'

"At a group level, I am pleased to see the operational and financial discipline delivered by all our teams as we focus on driving cost efficiencies and cash flow improvement," commented Tim Steiner, chief executive.

"For these reasons, we look forward to delivering the full potential of the business and continuing to create lasting value for all our stakeholders."

Half-Year Revenue

Half-year revenue rose 9% to £1.4 billion (€1.63 billion).

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But at the statutory level Ocado's pretax loss widened to £289.5 million (€336.8 million) from £211.3 million reflecting depreciation, amortisation and exceptional items.

The online retailer said there was no change to the financial guidance given at its full year results in February.

Customer Fulfilment Centre

Earlier this month, Ocado said its first robotic warehouse in Asia, built for Japanese partner Aeon, has gone live. The opening of the customer fulfilment centre follows on from a partnership that Ocado signed with the Japanese operator in 2019.

"The opening of the first CFC for Aeon, Japan's biggest food retailer, in Chiba City, just outside Tokyo, is a landmark for the grocery sector," Steiner added. "It demonstrates that our proprietary AI and robotics can be applied to businesses across the globe; Ocado Intelligent Automation is well placed to sign its first deals to provide our automation solutions outside of grocery." [Additional reporting by ESM]

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