Ocado claims to have received lots of interest from overseas retailers following its tie-up with Morrisons as it seeks further growth as an IP provider.  

Ocado chief executive Tim Steiner told Retail Week: “There’s clearly scope to do more transactions. The global grocery market is measured in trillions not millions. We’ve had lots of inquiries from global players which has obviously increased since selling to another party.”

The Morrisons deal, under which Ocado will licence its technology, logistics and delivery platform to the grocer for 25 years, precludes the online retailer from providing similar services to other UK supermarkets.

However, it can partner with an international grocer, as well as non food players in the UK. Several overseas supermarkets including Carrefour are thought to have visited its Hatfield headquarters.

Ocado, which this morning revealed it had made a £3.8m pretax loss in its first half compared to a £200,000 profit last year as it invested in its new warehouses, is expected to break into full year pre-tax profit next year.

Steiner said: “The underlying business would make a profit without the Morrisons deal. With Morrisons we’ll make significantly more profit.”

The deal, which Steiner described as “good” for Ocado and “phenomenal” for Morrisons, does not breach the Waitrose supply agreement. Steiner said the Waitrose tie-up will run until at least March 2017, when there is a break clause to the contract.

He also insisted the Morrisons deal would be good for Waitrose as it allowed Ocado to invest more in research and development.

The online grocer will be a “very aggressive hirer” of technology and engineering staff to improve its systems and service. Steiner expects to hire 150 people within its research and development function.

Ocado is set to role out further dedicated “destination” sites such as its pet business Fetch. Steiner said that kitchenware, gifts and health and beauty sites, will launch soon.

The speciality sites, which carry a wealth of products, are set to rival the likes of Amazon.

Steiner said: “Although Amazon and eBay are phenomenal businesses there is too much range, displayed in a disorganised fashion.  We don’t sell as much as they do but we do it better.”

Ocado sales jumped 15.6% to £355.9m in its first half to May 19.