Losses at Ocado jumped last year as the UK-based retail group invested more in international expansion and shoppers tightened their belts in its home market.

The company said on Tuesday that its pre-tax loss rose to £501mn in the year to last November, up from £177mn the previous year.

Ocado runs a grocery delivery service in the UK in partnership with Marks and Spencer, and also sells its technology and systems to other retailers around the world.

Last year, sales at the UK retail business dropped 3.8 per cent as shoppers bought fewer items on each visit. Earnings at the operation fell sharply.

The company has invested in technology and opened sites for partners around the world, but that expansion led to a big increase in the depreciation charge, which also contributed to the increased loss.

“Over the last year every company has had its business model tested by a combination of macroeconomic and geopolitical headwinds,” said chief executive Tim Steiner. However, he added: “We have more confidence in our model than ever before.”


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