Ocado Group Plc said its online retail joint venture is making some progress, with volumes showing a slight recovery as shoppers hunt around for affordable food.
(Bloomberg) — Ocado Group Plc said its online retail joint venture is making some progress, with volumes showing a slight recovery as shoppers hunt around for affordable food.
The joint venture between Ocado and Marks & Spencer Group Plc said the value of the average shopping basket rose 4% in the third quarter with a return to positive volume growth in the last month of the period. Average orders per week and the number of active customers also grew with revenue rising 7% versus a year earlier, the company said Tuesday.
The British company sees its future as a maker of automated warehouses for supermarkets around the world, but most of its revenue currently comes from the online grocery business it shares with M&S. Ocado Retail has been struggling to boost market share as shoppers returned to stores after the pandemic and shifted away to discount grocers Aldi and Lidl to save money.
Turning the UK venture around is important as it’s a demonstration of what Ocado’s warehouse technology can do.
Ocado Retail has been cutting prices on many basic grocery items to try to remain competitive and keeping a lid on costs. It reiterated guidance that it should return to marginal profit this year, helped by efficiency measures and cost-cutting.
Ocado’s shares have gained 28% so far this year.
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