Ocado looking beyond groceries

Ocado has announced in a trading statement that it is looking to expand outside of groceries while still using its IT, delivery and infrastructure expertise. It reported a 12.1% increase in revenues in the first half of the year.

The trading statement showed a revenue of £799 million for H1 of the year, which was 12.1% up on the same period last year. Gross profits were up 10.5% to £273.8 million. Ocado has however been investing heavily in new distribution centres that will have the latest robotics picking and sorting technology – so the company posted a pre-tax loss of £9m, compared to a £7m profit for H1 2017.

In his briefings with city analysts and journalists, Ocado’s chief executive, Tim Steiner, was upbeat about the company’s future prospects, which have been bolstered by the deals with international retailers Kroger, Casino and Sobeys. He lso had this to say: “We need to focus not just on what we have to do today but we have to make sure we innovate for the future.

“There’s a big market in food but we are also exploring other applications where our skills at moving things are just as useful as they are in the food market.”