Online grocer Ocado is seeking £20 million to pay down net debt in the current climate, but says it is trading well despite the decrease in consumer spending.

Shareholders are willing to inject the cash later this year to help reduce net debt, Ocado’s finance director Jason Gissing told the Financial Times.

Ocado's debt stood at£110 million in the year to December 31, 2007. In 2006, it was£86.5 million.

Sales growth has slowed from last year’s 25 per cent increase, but remained up by a fifth in the current calendar year, according to Gissing.

The retailer’s pre tax losses for the year to December 31 stood at£39.7 million, compared to£44.2 million in the previous year.