Ocado records 5.7% revenue decline

Ocado Retail has reported a revenue decline of 5.7 per cent in the first quarter of the year compared to the same period of 2021.

Retail revenue was down from £599.1 million in the first 13 weeks of 2021 to £564.7 million during the three-month period. The company said this was against a challenging comparative and a four per cent fall in UK grocery market sales.

Compared to the same period of 2020, revenue was up 31.7 per cent.

However, the average number of orders per week grew by 11.6 per cent to 367,500.

Active customer numbers grew 31 per cent year-on-year to 835,000.

The company said that the average basket size had decreased by 15 per cent to £124 as customer behaviours return towards pre-covid levels.

“The last quarter has been encouraging for Ocado Retail despite the clearly evident challenges the industry and consumers are facing,” said Melanie Smith, Ocado Retail’s chief executive. “Active customers have increased by 31 per cent, demonstrating the continued strong appetite for Ocado's unique and market-leading brand of online grocery.

“Of course, as we have seen since the end of COVID restrictions, the value of the average basket and shape of the week continue to normalise as we return towards the rhythm of our pre-COVID lives. Given that we are comparing a post-lockdown quarter this year with a lockdown quarter last year, this has meant that sales were down 5.7 per cent in the quarter, not helped by the softening market overall, with smaller baskets offsetting the increase in the number of customer transactions in the quarter.”

Smith said that long-term the business is confident that the trajectory of growth remains positive.

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