Sep 17, 2019

M&S is still in the soup despite Ocado solution

Probably because food solutions are, well, just food - and M&S still has not worked out how to sell it online. At first glance, Ocado's numbers suggested its warehouse robots were a ready-made solution to shifting M&S ready meals. Ocado Retail, now structured as a 50:50 JV, reported an 11.4 per cent rise in revenue in the quarter to September 1, despite a fire at its Andover warehouse in February. Having fallen 25 per cent in a year and out of the FTSE 100 index amid online competition, they fell another 1 per cent on this news of the online solution. Pre-tax losses were £5.3m. Cash fell a fifth to £10m. The shares dipped 8 per cent, reducing the market value to £37m. Last year, the group, which is chaired by septuagenarian Stephen Marks who also holds 42 per cent, announced a strategic review, including a possible sale, which it hoped to conclude in the first half.

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