British online supermarket Ocado Retail maintained its full-year outlook as it reported a step-up in revenue growth in its latest quarter, helped by a return to positive growth in the number of items sold in the last month of the period.
The business, a 50/50 joint venture between Ocado Group and Marks & Spencer, said its third quarter revenue to 27 August rose 7.2% to £569.6 million (€659.9 million), accelerating from growth of 5% in the first half.
Ocado Retail said it had benefited from a 1.5% increase in active customers to 961,000 at the end of the quarter.
The company saw 1.9% year-on-year growth in average orders per week of 381,000, while the average basket value was up 4.2% with basket size remaining broadly stable quarter-on-quarter at 44 items per order.
It said it has started the fourth quarter 'positively'.
The business said it still expected to report 'mid-single digit' revenue growth and 'marginally positive' core earnings, or EBITDA, for its 2022-23 year, versus a loss of £4 million (€4.6 million) in the previous year.
Britain's consumers have largely defied high inflation and rising borrowing costs to keep up their spending in 2023, but there are signs that the economy is weakening.
Hannah Gibson, Ocado Retail's chief executive officer commented, "It has now been a year since I joined Ocado Retail and in January we set out our Perfect Execution strategy, making sure every element of our customer proposition and our operating model is at its best.
"We are delivering on this plan and have great momentum in the business, with revenue growing faster in Q3 than in H1 and a return to positive volume growth in the last month of the quarter."
News by Reuters, additional reporting by ESM.