Confiture tomorrow: Ocado signs long-awaited first overseas deal

Confiture tomorrow: Ocado signs long-awaited first overseas deal

The online retailer said yesterday that it has agreed to share its software platform with a regional European retailer, but refused to outline which retailer has signed up to its technology. The retailer wants to remain nameless until it has launched its online business in order to keep a competitive advantage.

The deal will see Ocado receive an up-front fee for access to the platform, together with ongoing fees that are based on the volume of products sold online.

Analyst Daniel Ekstein at UBS said that the "economics looks skinny" and noted that Ocado said that the deal would be "earnings and cash neutral in the current and 2018 financial years".

"We are delighted that our partner has chose to adopt OSP for its online operations".

However, the retailer will not use Ocado's automated warehouse technology and will instead have its own employees pick the products for delivery, a decision that means the partnership could fall short of investors' high hopes for a transformational deal overseas.

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He added: "This is an exciting step in the evolution of our business and in the delivery of our strategy".

"The benefits of our integrated solution are clear".

Commenting on Ocado's announcement, Barclays European Food Retail Equity Research said, 'This is less impactful a piece of news than might have been expected for a first global deal and skeptics will be able to question whether this is as important as it might first appear - but at the bare minimum a third party has signed a deal with Ocado of its own free will - something that some doubted would ever happen'.

Ocado has been promising to secure an agreement with an global retailer for more than a year and a half. This agreement was further expanded in 2016.

Ocado chief executive Tim Steiner said: "We are delighted that our partner has made a decision to adopt OSP for its online operations". We look forward to working closely with our new partner in the months and years ahead.

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