Ocado has recorded a loss at the half-year mark as the online grocer ploughed investment into its proposition following a spate of international partnerships.
The online grocer recorded a pre-tax loss of £9m in the 26 weeks to June 3 against a profit of £7.7m in the same period the previous year.
The retailer attributed this loss to increased investment across its own operations and for its international partner after securing deals with Kroger, Sobey’s and ICA during the period.
Ocado’s overall revenue increased 12% during the period to £800m, bolstered by a 12% rise in retailer sales to £737m and 17% jump in solutions revenue to £63m.
The etailer, which posted a 14% decline in group EBITDA to £39m during the period, has raised £234m from two separate cash placings of 5% of its issued shared capital in order to ensure “the financial flexibility to take full advantage of our current opportunities to grow Ocado Solutions and accelerate the development of our platform”.
The online retailer has hired 150 new software and hardware engineers, taking its total number of technical experts developing its platform to over 1,550, and plans to increase this further during the current financial year.
Chief executive Tim Steiner said: “In the past six months we have partnered with some of the world’s biggest, best and most innovative retailers to help them redefine the shopping experience for their own customers. As a result, we are beginning to fulfil our ambition to change the way the world shops.
“We have just opened our latest state-of-the-art Customer Fulfilment Centre, which, once at full capacity, will be the largest automated warehouse for online grocery retail in the world and will showcase the scalability, adaptability and efficiency of our platform.
“In order to fully capitalise on the opportunities ahead of us, we are working at pace, investing more and focusing sharply on execution to bring on new capacity in the UK and to achieve successful outcomes for our partners.
“We are confident that we have the ability to scale up the business, deliver on our commitments, drive sustainable growth and deliver value to all our stakeholders.”