Ocado announces first interim profit

Ocado, the online grocery delivery firm, has reported its first ever half-year profit.
The company made a pre-tax profit of £200,000 in the first six months to 15 May, compared with a loss of £6.7m the previous year.
However, it also revealed that sales growth had slowed and more orders were delivered late as it struggled to meet demand from its customers.
Sales for the half-year rose 21 per cent to £296.7m, down from 24.7 per cent during the first 12 weeks of the period, while the number of orders delivered on time fell from 95 per cent to 92.7 per cent.
The online grocer said it was now planning to spend £80m over the next two years to rectify capacity issues at its main distribution centre in Hatfield, which it blamed for the drop in efficiency and sales growth.
Ocado also announced a new partnership with French supermarket giant Carrefour, which will see a range of authentic French products, called Reflets de France, added to its online offering from July 14.
Tim Steiner, Ocado chief executive, said: “We are delighted to announce our new supply partnership with Carrefour, an important development in our strategy to offer the broadest and most diverse grocery range to all our customers in the UK.”