Ocado has reported that gross retail sales in its fourth quarter rose 14.9% in the midst of the intensely competitive grocery market.

For the 16 weeks to November 30, gross retail sales were £311.4m. Group gross sales were up 18.6% to £331.9m.

Average orders per week were up 16.4% although average basket size was down 1.7%.

Ocado chief executive Tim Steiner said: “We are pleased with the continued steady growth in our business against the backdrop of a more competitive grocery market. This performance reflects an increasing number of customers who value the wide range of products, keen prices and great service made possible by Ocado’s unique operating model, and further demonstrates the ongoing shift to online grocery shopping.

“We remain committed to constantly improving the quality of the proposition to customers, which we believe will support continued growth, and although we anticipate the retail environment to remain challenging, we expect to continue growing sales slightly ahead of the online grocery market.”

Ocado reports retail sales rise 14.9% in its fourth quarter