Ocado hails strong festive sales

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Ocado fitted snow tyres to its delivery vehicles to help it fulfil orders during the cold snap

Online grocer Ocado said it has outperformed market expectations since its controversial stock market flotation after delivering a strong Christmas performance.

The Hatfield-based firm posted gross sales of £50.9 million in the four weeks to December 26, up 26.7% on last year. Sales in the week before Christmas were £12.3 million, up 43.5% on last year.

In a bid to overcome the heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures, the group fitted snow tyres to its 700 delivery vehicles and reduced the number of delivery slots available to ensure orders could be met, which allowed it to meet more than 98% of orders made.

The company was forced to slash the price for its initial public offering in July to 180p – down from initial hopes of 200p and 275p – after retail analysts and fund managers hit out at the firm for overvaluing its business.

The share price hit a low of 120p in October before gradually climbing back to today’s price of 184p.

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