UK online grocer Ocado's year loss widens

LONDON Tue Feb 4, 2014 2:22am EST

LONDON Feb 4 (Reuters) - British online grocer Ocado posted a wider loss for its 2012-13 financial year, but said it was well positioned for 2013-14 - a year when analysts expect it to make a pretax profit for the first time.

Shares in Ocado have risen nearly five-fold over the last 12 months on the back of the firm's 200 million pounds-plus ($327 million) deal with Morrisons, Britain's No. 4 grocer, to provide its online grocery operation, and on hopes it could do similar deals overseas.

Ocado, whose range includes products supplied by upmarket grocer Waitrose, said on Tuesday it made a pretax loss of 12.5 million pounds in the year to Dec. 1.

That compared with a loss of 0.6 million pounds in the 2011-12 year.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose 32.8 percent to 45.8 million pounds on gross retail sales up 15.2 percent to 843 million pounds.

Ocado also said its co-founder Jason Gissing would retire from the board at the annual shareholders meeting in May and leave the company then. It said Gissing wanted to spend more time with his family.

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