Ocado has registered a jump in full-year profits and sales as its customer base continued to demonstrate strong growth.

Ocado reported sales up 14.9%

Ocado delivery

Ocado customer numbers rose 13.9% to 580,000

The online grocer said pre-tax profit surged 21.8% to £14.5m in the year ending November 27, 2016.

Gross sales from its retail operations climbed 13.6% to £1.267bn.

Group revenue, which includes delivery charges and fees charged to Morrisons for its online partnership, advanced 14.8% to £1.271bn.

The business said growth was driven by a jump in active customer numbers, which increased 13.9% to 580,000.

The jump in the number of customers helped total order volumes improve 17.9% to an average of more than 230,000 orders per week.

Despite its growing sales and profits, Ocado again failed to reveal details of a tie-up with an international retail partner to sell its Ocado Smart Platform technology, which it started using in its new Andover fulfilment centre during the period.

The etailer has drafted in former Sainsbury’s strategy director and group development director Luke Jensen to take on the newly-created role of chief executive of the Ocado Smart Platform as it ramps up efforts to secure a deal.

Chief financial officer Duncan Tatton-Brown insisted the business will pen “multiple deals in the medium term”.

“Strong progress”

Ocado hailed “strong progress” with its three strategic objectives during the 52-week period – driving growth, maximising efficiency and using its proprietary technology.

The etailer said on-time deliveries remained “market-leading” at 94.9%, although this represented a slight drop-off from 95.3% the previous year.

Order accuracy also declined slightly from 99.3% last year to 99% during the year ending November 27, 2016.

Ocado said it broadened its range during the year from 47,000 SKUs to 50,000 and lauded the launch of its Fabled brand, through a tie-up with Marie Claire.

Retail Week revealed last year that Fabled was launching a flagship store in London to help drive sales and customer awareness of the new beauty brand.

Ocado boss Tim Steiner said the results reflected “robust trading” amid a “challenging retail environment”.

He added: “In this ever-evolving retail environment, we look forward to further developing our capabilities through innovation, creating the next-generation ecommerce capabilities that will ensure our offer remains compelling for both retail and Ocado Service Platform customers alike.”