The online retailer posted a pretax profit of
Gross retail sales in the first half of the year, rose 16%, with sales growth driven by an increase in average orders per week and in the number of customers, which it said partially offset a slight decline in the average order size. Whilst strong, sales growth slowed in the second quarter from the first quarter.
"We are seeing a similar pattern to other retailers. We have seen some volatility in sales growth, but we are growing ahead of what we are seeing in the market, and we are confident of outperforming the market," Chief Executive
Revenue grew by 21% to
"The online grocery market continued to outperform the traditional bricks and mortar supermarkets, with the overall rate of growth currently impacted by subdued and cautious consumer spending. At the same time,
Average orders per week increased to 161,000 in the period, up from 139,000 last year, while the average order size was
Earnings before net finance cost, taxation, depreciation, amortisation, impairment and exceptional items, a measure closely watched by analysts and investors, increased to
"The first half of the year was very busy for us as we continued to improve our proposition to customers, including the further expansion of our range and improvements to the user interface. Our specialist online pet store, Fetch, is growing at a significant pace as are sales of our
"In terms of forecasts, despite the solid first half, we lower our EBITDA estimate, from
"We expect to spend around
"We are encouraged by the solid first-half result, a stronger top-line exit rate, and progress on customer fulfilment centre 3; we continue to see huge long-term potential," said Numis analysts.
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