UK online food retailer Ocado said it has delivered its "first ever" profit for a financial year.

The privately-owned online grocer, which sells Waitrose's products online, said the profit is a "significant milestone" for the company given the "challenging" economic conditions.

For the 12-month period, the company posted an EBITDA profit of GBP483,000 (US$767,000). The growth was driven by a combination of an increase in the number of orders and an increase in the average size of orders.

However, the internet retailer made a pre-tax loss of GBP32.6m over the year to to 30 November, compared to a loss of GBP39.7m the year before

The company achieved sales growth of 17% to GBP338.5m.

The average number of orders per week grew from 41,000 to 56,500, while the average spend per order grew from GBP108 to GBP117. The company said that it adopted a "more competitive pricing policy" over the year.

Over the year, Ocado said it raised GBP17.9m in equity from new and existing investors, GBP22.8m in new debt and converted GBP22.6m of convertible loan stock from debt to equity in order to finance its growth.

It also received a GBP5m investment from Procter & Gamble.