Ocado: so much promise and so little joy. Three years ago, it was on the cusp on a significant shift in consumer behaviour.
The pandemic forced people to buy their groceries online, meaning any company that didn’t have a robust set-up to pack and deliver food and drink to households had to think fast to gain this capability.
AJ Bell’s Russ Mould said: “Ocado had the best moment in its existence to sell its technology platform to grocers around the world. Sadly, the deals have been few and far between, leaving investors wondering when it will ever make a sustainable profit.
“The latest results are as appetising as a bucket of sick. Revenue growth has ground to a halt, pre-tax losses are getting worse and net debt has ballooned.
“The retail joint venture with Marks & Spencer looks stuck in the mud. Consumers are pulling back from doing big shops which is problematic for Ocado. It’s more cost and time efficient to fill a van with a big customer order than lots of little ones, so the shift in shopping behaviour creates a headwind.
“Ocado has long argued that it needs to spend money to make money, but patience is wearing thin for the long-suffering shareholders.”