Ocado shares plunge as it slips to a loss

Despite sales rising 12.4 per cent

Shares of Ocado plunged as much as 12 per cent today after it warned that earnings will be hit by the cost of developing its new warehouses and IT systems. The online grocer also announced that it would be raising around £150m by selling new shares.

For the 52-week period to last December, the group reported a pre-tax loss of £500,000, down from profits of £12m a year earlier, despite seeing sales rise 12.4 per cent.

However, Ocado chief executive Tim Steiner said: We have primed our Ocado Solutions business for growth and received an important validation of the business model through our latest partnerships with Groupe Casino and Sobeys. Looking ahead, we are confident that we will be able to do further deals with the momentum of new signings building over time.”

The group is looking to broaden itself from an online delivery grocery service into a technology provider that offers warehouse capability and digital commerce platforms to other retailers worldwide.

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