Sales grow 15% for online-only grocer Ocado Group
March 10, 2015 10:57 AM
(Bloomberg)—Ocado Group Plc, No. 21 in the Internet Retailer 2014 Europe 500 Guide, the U.K.’s largest online-only food retailer, posted first-quarter sales of £252 million ($380 million) and said it expects to stay ahead of the pack in a tough food retail market.
Revenue rose 15%, excluding income from a distribution agreement with Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc, the Hatfield, England-based company said in a statement Tuesday. That compared with growth of 18% in the same period last year and the median analyst estimate of 14.5%.
“We remain committed to improving the quality of the proposition to customers, which we believe will support further growth,” CEO Tim Steiner said in the statement. “Notwithstanding the uncertainty that remains in the marketplace, we expect to continue growing slightly ahead of the online grocery market.”
Ocado reported its first annual pretax profit in February, as it benefited from the growing number of British customers shopping for groceries online. The 15-year-old company is seeking opportunities to partner with international retailers, augmenting distribution agreements it has with U.K. supermarkets Morrison and Waitrose. In February, Ocado said it was in discussions to either introduce or improve the online retail business of several potential partners.