Competitor Monitoring: Online Grocer Ocado Reports 11% Sales Jump

Pure-play online grocer Ocado has reported revenue increased by 11.4 per cent to £664 million in 2012. Private-label sales increased by more than 70 per cent on a year-on-year basis. Last month, Ocado appointed Sir Stuart Rose, the former head of M&S, as chairman.

Last year, Ocado increased its offerings by more than 40 per cent; by the end of 2012, it had more than 28,000 products available for purchase on its webstore. The online supermarket expanded its non-food product range to more than 8,000 items, many of which were in the home, beauty and personal care, baby and pet categories. The company also offered more brands to its customers, as well as speciality food products from Spain and Sweden. By the end of 2013, Ocado is aiming to have 15,000 SKUs available on the site. Active customers increased by 57,000 to 355,000, helped by promotions and a strong pricing campaign.

The etailer ended 2012 with a strong financial platform and margins are improving after greater efficiencies were made, said Ocado's chief financial officer Duncan Tatton-Brown. “We continued to achieve double-digit sales growth during 2012 with increasing rates of sales and new customer momentum as we moved into 2013," explained chief executive Tim Steiner.

This was driven by further improvements to the core offer to customers – better value, wider ranges and enhanced service, he added. “As more and more shoppers leave physical stores to shop for their weekly groceries from the comfort of their own homes, we have seen our competitors investing more into the online channel." Ocado plans to open a new distribution centre in Warwickshire later in the year.

© 2013 Profitero

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