Ocado records bumper Christmas with 21% sales jump

Ocado has recorded a bumper Christmas with sales up 21.3% to £111.1m for the six weeks to 5 January after a strong trading period in the week before Christmas Day.

Ocado: reports strong Christmas sales
Ocado: reports strong Christmas sales

Tim Steiner, chief executive at Ocado, attributes the strong sales to "further improvements to our proposition and consumers’ increasing desire to shop online for groceries".

Ocado’s sales for the 16 weeks to 1 December were up year on year 20.1% to £271.0m.

The robust performance comes against a backdrop of long-standing criticism from analysts, who have questioned the retailer’s inability to turn a profit.

During the Christmas quarter Ocado launched its partnership with Morrisons.com "successfully", delivering its first groceries to online shoppers on 10 January.

Steiner said: "We are pleased to have enabled the launch of Morrisons.com on schedule and as planned. This has been possible due to the strength of our best in class technology platform, the efforts of the teams involved at Ocado, and the continuing strong collaboration with Morrisons.

"The seven days leading up to Christmas were particularly strong with sales up nearly 29%, and several days of over £5 million of sales, helped by the additional fulfilment capacity that we put in place during 2013."

This morning other high-street retailers have also posted promising sales with Dixons’ UK & Ireland reporting a 5% like-for-like sales increase between 1 November and 4 January.

Meanwhile, Argos posted a like-for-like sales increase of 3.8% in the 18 weeks from 1 September 2013 to 4 January and Primark’s like-for-like sales jumped 14% for the 16 weeks to 4 January.