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Ocado reports double-digit growth over the full year and over Christmas

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Ocado today unveiled a double-digit boost to sales both over the Christmas period and over its latest financial year. Chief executive Tim Steiner said more people were now buying online to avoid the “stresses and strains” of shopping at a physical supermarket.

The online grocer said in today’s Christmas and fourth quarter trading statement that gross sales rose to £91.6m in the six weeks to January 6, 14.2% up on the same time last year. Customer orders rose by 11.4% at the same time. In the seven days up to Christmas, gross sales were up by 17.1%.

Full-year figures also showed a 12.4% rise in sales in the fourth quarter, and 11.4% growth in the 52 weeks to November 25, with sales of £716.2m, up from £642.8m last time. In the full financial year, the 53 weeks to December 2, sales grew by 13.9% on a 52 week year in 2011, to £731.9m.

“We are pleased to have helped record numbers of customers enjoy Christmas without the stresses and strains of visiting a physical supermarket,” said Tim Steiner, chief executive of Ocado.

He added: “As has been seen elsewhere in our sector, Christmas has amplified the fact that shopping online for groceries is of increasing importance for consumers. In 2013 we will substantially increase our capacity with the opening of our second fulfillment centre, and so we hope to make it possible for many more customers to escape crowded aisles, checkouts and car parks.”

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