Transport@OCADO 2

Ocado says investments in its network and fleet led to revenue growth in the first six months of its financial year.

The online grocery giant and own-account operatorsinvested £9m into capacity improvements at its existing Hatfield customer fulfilment centre (CFC1), as well as pumping £49.7m into the first phase of building a second CFC in Dordon, Warwicks, due to commence operations in Q1 2013.

As a result of improved capacity in Hatfield, weekly deliveries per van have increased by nearly 6% to 150, with a peak during H1 of 165 deliveries. On-time delivery performance and picking accuracy also improved during the period to 93.2% and 98.3% respectively.

As well as investing in warehouse capacity, Ocado also spent £2.9m on new fleet vehicles during the first half of the year.

Ocado says it has now overcome most of the operational challenges it faced in the second half of 2011, with CFC1 now operating at record levels of capacity.

Revenue rose by 12% for the six months ending 13 May to £332.3m; pre-tax profit was also up 5% to £181,000, compared with H1 2011.

CEO Tim Steiner says: "The last six months has been all about delivering our plans to increase capacity, efficiency and range and enhancing our offer to customers."

He adds: "The third quarter is particularly hard to forecast as we have already seen some disruption from the Jubilee events, and there is uncertainty as to the effect of the Olympics, but we expect sales growth to increase in H2 2012 overall."