Published: 11:27, 09 February 2021
| Updated: 11:30, 09 February 2021
Online shopping firm Ocado says the lockdown saw a massive 35% leap in sales over the past year as a Kent wealth management firm described it as the "stand-out technology success story in the FTSE100".
And the analyst says it is well placed to build on its growth going forward.
The firm revealed the sales boost, driving its revenues up to £2.2billion in 2020, had slashed its losses from £214.5m to £44m.
Last year it also revealed a tie-up with M&S to deliver its food direct to customers' homes, replacing a previously agreement it had in place with Waitrose.
Ocado's chief executive, Tim Steiner, said: "Over the last twelve months, the world has changed. Millions of customers have tried shopping for grocery online for the first time and they like the experience.
"The landscape of grocery retailing worldwide is changing, for good."
Paul Cannons, senior investment manager at wealth managers Brewin Dolphin's Tunbridge Wells office, said: “Trading has been very strong at Ocado, with the retail operations adding more than £100m of cash earnings, even allowing for ramped-up investment and some of the exceptional costs the business has incurred over the last year.
"The international operations remain a drag on cash due to their development stage, but this should smooth out as delivery and volumes in partnership operations start to increase from here.
"Despite the progress achieved thus far, Ocado has redoubled its commitment to heavily invest in its offering, seeking faster growth through new capacity and technology innovation – while this is yet to translate into profit, it places the business very well for the future. Ocado remains the stand-out technology success story in the FTSE100.”