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Ocado says model is sound despite catastrophic Andover fire

19 March 2019

The online grocer and automated technology leader updated investors today in the wake of the fire in February which destroyed its automated DC in Andover. 

The facility handled around 10% of Ocado’s capacity in the UK.

In a statement the firm said: “A thorough examination of the causes is currently being undertaken. Our initial assessment of the reasons for the fire gives us confidence that, going forward, there are no significant implications for the risk profile of the assets or the viability of our model.”

Tim Steiner, Ocado’s CEO added: “The fire has been a setback, but it will be only a temporary one. Over the last few weeks, our teams have been working hard to minimise any disruption to our customers and we will build a state‐of‐the‐art replacement facility.”

Ocado grew revenues 11.2% in the 13 weeks to 3 March 2019. 

It says the impact of the fire was equivalent to 1.2% of sales in the quarter.

Temporary measures to cunter the effects of the fire include setting up a temporary spoke in Andover and adding capacity to the Erith DC faster than envisaged

Ocado added an analysis of the optimum solutions for rebuilding has begun.