Jul 9, 2019

Ocado reveals £100m blow from warehouse fire

Ocado, which is best known for its business delivering food for UK supermarkets but is increasingly focused on building semi-automated grocery warehouses for international customers, said that dealing with the fire at its Andover distribution centre in February had cost £110.3m, offset by £11.8m of insurance proceeds received so far. Finance director Duncan Tatton Brown said Ocado expected to get all the money back from the fire "Over time," but could not specify how long it would take. Tuesday was the first time Ocado has updated investors on the financial fallout of the fire at the Andover centre. The fire started because of an electrical fault in a battery charging unit, which caused one of bots in the Andover warehouse to catch alight, Ocado said in April. Shares in Ocado have risen more than 50 per cent so far in 2019, despite the group having lost £45m in 2018 and buoyed by the rate at which it has been selling its robotic warehouse technology to other retailers.

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