Ocado has said it now expects its full-year EBITDA to surpass £70m following a quarter of “exceptional demand” and strong sales growth.

The online grocer’s joint venture with Marks & Spencer reported a 35% uplift in retail revenue in the 13 weeks to November 29 to £579.6m, driven by a 3% uplift in average orders per week to 360,000.

As a result of this ongoing strong demand Ocado has re-upped its full-year guidance for the second time in two months, having said in November it expected full-year profits to be over £60m.

Ocado’s average order size stood at £133 during the quarter as shopper behaviour continued to “normalise” following the stockpiling of lockdowns earlier in the year. 

Ocado Retail chief executive Melanie Smith said: “Despite exceptional demand during the period, we have high rates of on-time customer delivery and low rates of substitutions.

“This, together with our commitment to competitive prices and the freshest produce available, all delivered in a way that minimises handling and maximises hygiene, has strengthened our credentials as the UK online grocery market leader in terms of customer experience. 

“With three new warehouses opening in 2021, which will ultimately give us 40% more capacity to our business, we look forward to being able to offer more slots to existing customers while welcoming new customers to Ocado and showing them what we can offer.”