Ocado targets overseas tie-up this year

Online grocer Ocado is hoping to agree an international tie-up before the end of the year after posting a hike in half-year profits.

A Ocado home delivery. Picture: Contributed

The company, which delivers goods for both Waitrose and Morrisons, has seen its shares rise by 30 per cent over the last three months amid increasing speculation over a long-awaited deal to sell its technology to overseas retailers.

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Chief executive Tim Steiner said Ocado was “excited by the possibility” of an international agreement, and the firm has set itself the target of signing a deal this year.

Half-year figures showed underlying earnings rose 
11.4 per cent to £38.2 million in the 24 weeks to 17 May, on revenues 18.2 per cent higher at £507.7m.

Steiner said the wider grocery market was hit by “intense” competition on prices, but added: “The resilience of our business model and increasing operational leverage also mean that we have grown operating profit despite these industry headwinds.”