Online grocer Ocado has reported a gross sales increase of 9.9% to £162.6m in the 12 weeks to 5 August compared to 12% growth in the first quarter.
Average orders per week increased by 8.6% to 120,494 while average order size for the period was £112.44 compared to £111.08 in the equivalent period in 2011.
The group has said, as expected, the one-off Jubilee and Olympics events influenced ordering patterns during the period. However the forward planning and IT solutions it undertook to prepare for these events enabled it to maintain “excellent customer services”.
Chief executive officer at Ocado, Tim Steiner, said: “We remain committed to improving the offer for our customers with better prices, range and service. We are pleased customers’ ordering patterns have returned to normal after the Jubilee and Olympic events, and are excited by the prospect of the changes we are making to our proposition to shoppers.
“The grocery market and the general economic picture remain challenging, with consumer confidence subdued and significant competitive couponing activity.
“Notwithstanding this environment, we have continued to build on the foundations we have put in place to deliver growth and operational improvement through the rest of this year and for the future, and we are targeting an increase in sales growth through the remainder of the period.”
Commenting on Ocado interim statement, City firm Shore Capital has said they were “far from inspiring” results for the Q3 data for its November 2012 year-end.
Shore Capital said: “To be fair to management, it did flag up the likelihood of subdued summer trading because of Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee and The London Olympics (albeit we did not sense gridlock prevailed in the capital and if anything it was a time of family gatherings that may have suited Ocado in its core market; traffic in Liverpool wasn’t too bad either).
The analyst also said that despite all of this activity, Ocado is forecast to make “very little money in yet another year and its performance continues to be underwhelming”.
Source: Ocado/Shore Capital