Bloomberg News

Ocado Christmas-Season Revenue Increases 16% on Own-Label Items

January 12, 2012

Jan. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Ocado Group Plc, the U.K.’s largest online-only grocer, said sales increased 16% in the Christmas season, led by own-label items.

Sales rose to 59 million pounds ($90 million) in the four weeks ended Dec. 25, the Hatfield, England-based retailer said in a statement today. That compares with a 16.7 percent increase in the year ended Nov. 28.

Ocado forecast last month that full-year profit will be less than analysts’ estimates, hurt by capacity constraints at its Hatfield distribution center and the employment of extra staff to boost order fulfillment. The retailer, which is mostly supplied by grocer Waitrose Ltd., also has had to contend with increased promotions at competitors such as the J Sainsbury Plc Brand Match campaign and Tesco Plc’s Big Price Drop.

“This was encouraging trading for December as a whole and particularly the seven days to Christmas,” Chief Financial Officer Andrew Bracey said in the statement.

Ocado rose 1.8 percent to 55.45 pence in London yesterday. The stock has fallen 70 percent in the past year.

Last month, Ocado said earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization were 27.5 million pounds to 28.5 million pounds in the year ended Nov. 27.

--Editors: Thomas Mulier, Tom Lavell

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah Shannon in London at sshannon4@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Sara Marley at smarley1@bloomberg.net


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