Ocado sees online demand stay strong

British online grocer and tech group Ocado keeps benefiting from the shift to online food shopping.

For its first half, the firm posted a 20% rise in retail revenue to 1.2 billion pounds, or 1.6 billion dollars.

Lockdowns in Britain drew new customers to its joint venture with Marks & Spencer.

The shift to online has also increased demand for Ocado's technology offering from retailers around the world.

It signed a new contract to develop Spain's Alcampo on Tuesday (July 6), which will see the chain use the Ocado Smart Platform.

The pair will build a customer fulfilment centre to serve the Madrid region from 2024.

Ocado's state-of-the-art robotic technology has led to partnership deals with supermarket groups around the world, including in the U.S., France and Asia.

Also on Tuesday, Sainsbury's gave an update on its outlook.

The boss of Britain's second largest supermarket group refused to be drawn on whether the group could become part of takeover frenzy currently gripping the sector.

Shares in Sainsbury's are up 24% so far this year.

They've been buoyed by bid speculation after Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky raised his stake to just under 10%.

The bidding war over rival Morrisons has also fuelled gains.

Sainsbury's, which trails market leader Tesco in annual sales, says it saw better than expected trading for its latest quarter, with like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, rising 1.6%.

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