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UPDATE 1-Ocado strikes tech deal with Auchan Poland

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LONDON, March 15 (Reuters) - Britain’s Ocado said on Tuesday it had struck a partnership with Auchan Retail Poland to provide its online delivery and picking technology at an automated centre, and its picking services in its food and non-food stores.

Ocado, an online supermarket group that has sold its robotic picking technology to retailers around the world, said the two firms would also explore opportunities in other geographies, after it partnered with Auchan’s Spanish Alcampo business last year.

Under the new deal, the two groups will build a Customer Fulfilment Centre (CFC) in the Warsaw region, beginning in 2024, with additional centres to come at later dates.

Auchan Poland will also use Ocado’s In-Store Fulfilment software across its hypermarkets nationwide to speed up its picking of items, in both the food and non-food business.

Ocado said it expected the deal to create significant long-term value for its business.

“The impact of this transaction should be negligible on earnings in the current financial year as no cash fees will be recognised in revenue until operations commence,” it said.

“Ocado expects minimal additional capex in FY22 with the majority of additional capex in the 18 months prior to the opening of the CFC.”

Prior to Tuesday’s announcement, Ocado had already struck partnership deals to provide its technology to supermarket groups in eight countries, including Kroger in the United States, Aeon in Japan, Casino in France and Coles in Australia.

Reporting by Kate Holton, Editing by Kylie MacLellan; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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