Ocado retail sales surge

Ocado Group plc (LON:OCDO) announced its full-year 2018 financial results on Tuesday for the 52 weeks to 2 December 2018. The online grocery retailer revealed a £44.9 million annual loss as its continued investment in its technology platform has more than outweighed a sales increase. Shares had begun to decrease Tuesday morning during early trading.

The £44.9 million pre-tax full-year loss compares to a £9.8 million loss posted the year prior.

Group revenue was 12.3% higher compared to 2017 at £1.6 billion.

Ocado’s retail revenue increased 12% to £1.48 billion.

As for its 2019 outlook, Ocado has said it remains confident in achieving revenue growth of 10-15% in its retail business as it increases its fulfilment capacity and grows its UK market share. It has warned, however, that this depends on stable economic conditions.

In July, Ocado reported a loss for the first-half of the financial year. This was due to a heavy reinvestment that outweighed a rise in revenue over the period. During the first-half of the financial year, the company faced a £1.5 million hit to its profits as a result of the ‘Best from the East’ storm. Reports of a profit plunge date as early as February of the 2018 financial year.

Ocado’s Chief Executive Officer, Tim Steiner, commented on the results:

“Our performance last year was the result of many years of focus, dedication and perseverance: what we have called our “18-year overnight success”. Our growth story, however, is only just beginning. We now have in place a platform for significant and sustainable long-term value creation as the leading pure-play digital grocer in the UK, a world-leading provider of end-to-end ecommerce grocery solutions, and as an innovative and creative technology company applying our proprietary knowledge to a range of challenges.”

“Our transformation journey is well under way with increased cash fees earned and greater investment as we execute on behalf of our partners.  Creating future value now will involve us continuing to scale the business, enhancing our platform, enabling our UK retail business to take advantage of all its opportunities for growth, and innovating for the future. We look forward to fulfilling these opportunities with excitement and determination”.

At 08:55 GMT today, shares in Ocado Group plc (LON:OCDO) were trading at -0.36%.