Ocado soars as second lockdown boosts demand for deliveries: Profits forecast jumps 50% to £60m
Ocado expects profits to hit £60m this year
Ocado’s shares soared as the second wave of coronavirus boosted demand for food deliveries.
The online grocer said it expected profits for its retail business, which it runs as a joint venture with Marks & Spencer, to hit £60million this year – 50 per cent higher than its previous forecast of £40million.
Ocado shares rose 8 per cent, or 183p, to 2459p, making it the top performer on the FTSE 100, as bosses said demand had remained ‘strong’ as tiered restrictions were introduced, and the company was operating at peak capacity ‘every day’.
Duncan Tatton-Brown, Ocado’s finance chief, said: ‘Most of the country had hoped the effects of the pandemic would have started to mitigate by now.
‘Unfortunately that has not proven to be the case.’
Ocado also revealed it had bought two robotics companies to support its technology arm, which sells automated warehouses to supermarkets abroad.
The company hopes to develop more dexterous robots and reduce the number of staff needed to pack bags with food.