Revenue grows but so do losses at Ocado
The online retailer Ocado has reported growing losses for the 2018, although sales rose by a substantial 12.3%, with more customers now using its delivery service.
The business has recorded a pre-tax loss of £44.4m, compared with £9.8m in 2018. However, Ocado also reported that its sales rose by 12.3% to £1.59bn.
Chief executive Tim Steiner commented: “We now have in place a platform for significant and sustainable long-term value creation.”
The company’s losses grew as a result of investment costs, including development of its new warehouses and IT systems, as well as an accounting charge, while its earnings fell by 20.7% to £59.5m.
Ocado attracted 11.8% more active customers last year, taking its total to 721,000, with total order volumes increasing by 12.1% to an average of 296,000 per week. The business currently has a deal with southern England-focused Waitrose, which is due to come to an end in September 2020.
Steiner added: “Our transformation journey is well under way with increased cash fees earned and greater investment as we execute on behalf of our partners.
“Creating future value now will involve us continuing to scale the business, enhancing our platform, enabling our UK retail business to take advantage of all its opportunities for growth, and innovating for the future. We look forward to fulfilling these opportunities with excitement and determination”.
The company said it was confident of achieving retail revenue growth of between 10% and 15% this year, despite another expected drop in earnings.”