Online grocer and tech platform Ocado has reported a fall in full-year earnings as it invested in technology.

Ocado chief executive Tim Steiner

Source: Peter Searle

Ocado chief executive Tim Steiner: ”Online grocery is here to stay”

Ocado posted group EBITDA of £61m versus £73.1m in the previous year.

Group sales rose 7.2% to £2.5bn in the period to November 28, 2021, while sales at the retail division – a joint venture with Marks & Spencer – advanced 4.6% to £2.3bn and were ahead 41.5% on a two-year basis.

Ocado, which last month unveiled what it maintained was a “game-changing” suite of new technology, expects the retail division to ”return to strong, mid-teens revenue growth in 2022” as conditions normalise in the aftermath of the pandemic.

It also expects fee revenue from its Ocado Smart Platform (OSP) business to more than double.

Ocado chief executive Tim Steiner said: “The past year has further reinforced that demand for online grocery is here to stay. In the majority of mature markets, the fastest growing channel is online and to truly win here food retailers need to deliver the best offer with the best economics across all customer missions.

“The innovation that is powering the development of the unique and proprietary OSP is focused on providing an unequalled customer experience through ground-breaking technology, which leads to an unrivalled low cost operation. 

“The new generation of Ocado technology, which we have called Ocado Re:Imagined, represents a transformational leap forward allowing our partners to comprehensively out-compete peers online.

“Over the last 20 years, Ocado Group has been a pioneer in the development of online grocery retailing. With the innovations to the OSP announced in January, we have again reset the bar, demonstrating decisively that an online grocery service powered by OSP is able to offer what the customer wants with the economics the retailer needs.”

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