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Ocado finally profits from online grocery delivery service

28 June 2011 - 12:42 by Sarah Collinson

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Ocado, the delivery firm which currently handles online distribution for supermarket chain Waitrose, has published figures which show it made a profit in the first half of 2011.

The company has been making losses regularly throughout its existence, with the first six months of 2010 seeing it lose out by £6.7 million. However, things have finally turned around and it made a modest £200,000 profit during the same period this year, according to BBC News.

Last week it was announced that Waitrose would be moving out to deliver groceries bought via safe shopping online under its own steam, once its contract with Ocado expires, so the firm which is turning a profit after all these years might be left in the wake of its former partner.

The good news for Ocado and its customers is that it has recently struck a deal with French supermarket organisation Carrefour, which will see its products available in the UK.

Ocado CEO, Tim Steiner, said that working with Carrefour was a great opportunity for the company to give UK consumers the widest possible selection of products whenever they next use safe shopping online to buy their groceries.

While Ocado is positive about its future, other experts are less certain that it will continue to be a success going forward. Analyst, Anna Smee, said that Ocado may be making a profit now but it had no plans on how it can grow over the coming years.

One option that outsiders believe Ocado should consider is overseas expansion, in tandem with providing their delivery service in more parts of the UK than their current coverage affords.

With major retailers all gunning for Ocado's slice of the pie, there is no doubt that the company needs to prove itself over the next year to avoid dipping back into a loss-making mess.