Ocado swings to H1 loss as EBITDA falls

Ocado has swung to an underlying loss in the six months ended 29 May, attributing its £72.8m drop in retail EBITDA to the Covid-19 pandemic and cost-of-living crisis.

The online-only grocer revealed retail sales fell by 8% to £1.1 compared to H1 2021.

It also reported a first-half pretax loss of £211 million pounds, with group revenues also dropping 4% to £1.3 billion.

Its joint venture online grocery operation with M&S, Ocado Retail, did boost customer acquisition by 12% over the period, despite the sales fall. However, the group said average basket size was down 13% to £120 as customers bought fewer items.

READ MORE: Ocado results expected to focus on rising costs and changing customer behaviour

The news follows Ocado Retail’s CEO Melanie Smith decision to step down from the position by the end of next month.

Ocado added that its full-year performance would still “in line with guidance” and still has a “clear path” of achieving £6.3 billion in sales and £750 million in EBITDA in four to six years.

“The last six months has seen significant progress at Ocado Group and we have put all the building blocks in place to deliver profitable growth and strong cash flows,” Ocado Group’s CEO Tim Steiner said.

“Each of these CFCs will generate dependable, recurring cash flows and attractive returns on capital. 11 of the world’s leading grocers are looking to Ocado to provide the technology and solutions to power their online grocery activities and our new partner pipeline is as strong as ever.”

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