LONDON – Ocado’s shares jumped on Wednesday morning despite a drop in half-year profits, after reporting an increase in customers.

Ocado’s profit before tax in the first six months of 2017 was down £1.7 million, due in part to the costs associated with opening new facilities to “meet increasing demand,” such as the distribution centre in Andover.

Net debt also rose to £102.4 million from £14.6 million last year.

Earnings were up 2.7% to £45.2 million. Orders jumped 15.6% and active customers increased by 12.7% year-on-year.

Ocado’s shares rose 1.49% at 08:48a.m. BST (03:48 EST) on Wednesday morning.

“After several years of price deflation in the UK, we have seen this begin to ease in the period and, when combined with our increasing scale and operational efficiencies, this trend will support the continued profitable growth of our retail business,” said Tim Steiner, CEO of Ocado.

“As the channel shift to online advances we continue to gain share in a competitive UK market. We expect the trend for grocery shopping online to continue as customers become more tech savvy and gain confidence in the online services available,” he said.

Here is the chart:

Ocado sharesOcado’s shares, Wednesday morning Investing.com

Written by: Camilla Hodgson

Source: Business Insider

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