Ocado Group PLC (LON: OCDO) now makes 123,000 deliveries a week.
The shares of Ocado (LSE: OCDO) gained 6p, or 6%, to 110p during early London trade this morning after the online delivery service reported an adjusted annual pre-tax profit of £2m.
The performance appeared to beat the expectations of many City brokers, who had expected the FTSE 250 company to report a small loss for the 53 weeks to 2 December.
Ocado's profit was created after revenues gained 11% to £678m, which in turn was supported by average weekly order numbers improving 11% to 123,000.
The average delivery per van increased by 4% to 151 per week, although the average delivery value stayed the same at £112.
Other figures of note within today's statement included net debt of £55m and capital expenditure of £124m. Some £80m was spent during the year building the group's second warehouse and fulfilment facilities, which should open before the end of this month.
Tim Steiner, Ocado's chief executive, said:
"We continued to achieve double digit sales growth during 2012 with increasing rates of sales and new customer momentum as we moved into 2013. This has been driven by further improvements to our core offer to customers -- better value, wider ranges and enhanced service."
"Shopping online for groceries is clearly of increasing importance to consumers. In 2013, we will continue to improve the attractiveness of Ocado to customers and we shall substantially increase our capacity with the opening of our second fulfilment centre, creating over 1,000 jobs in the Midlands."
Ocado's £2m profit compares to a current £676m market value, so clearly there is some expectation that the group's second warehouse can advance sales further and create sizeable economies of scale.
Alternatively, the market cap may reflect the potential of a bid.
The delivery service has recently been the centre of takeover speculation, with Marks & Spencer in particular being a rumoured bidder. Former Marks boss Sir Stuart Rose took on the role of chairman at Ocado last month.
Another possible predator is Wm Morrison Supermarkets, which does not have any significant online delivery service.
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> Maynard does not own any share mentioned in this article.