UK online grocer Ocado said it is looking to develop a distribution centre in the country as reports continue over a possible flotation after the General Election.
A spokesperson for the retailer told just-food today (29 March), that plans were under way to open a distribution hub that would create around 2,200 jobs.
“There are plans…but [Ocado] hasn’t got a location for the hub yet,” the spokesperson said. “There are about five sites they are considering.”
The retailer said the centre would be a result of Ocado growing 30% year-on-year but declined to comment on how much the centre would cost and how it will be funded.
It is understood the facility will be built using the proceeds of its planned post-election flotation, The Observer reported this weekend, at a cost of around GBP100m (US$149.8m).
The report also said Ocado had met with UK Business Secretary Lord Mandelson to enquire whether the investment was eligible for government grants.
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Speculation that the retailer, in which Waitrose parent the John Lewis Partnership owns a 30% stake, will launch an IPO this year has swirled around the market since late last year.
Ocado last week claimed it had had an “excellent” fiscal year after seeing its EBITDA more than treble and operating losses slashed by a third.
The firm posted EBITDA of GBP9.2m for the year to 29 November, against EBITDA of GBP2.2m a year earlier.
Revenue jumped 25% to GBP402m, helping to reduce Ocado’s operating losses from GBP21.6m to GBP14.4m.