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Ocado – English As A Foreign Language

Ocado Group OCDO got so bogged down in jargon in its half year results to the 28th May that one can easily believe they must have done it deliberately purely to show how clever they are compared to those of us who can only speak ordinary English which everybody else understands. Thus the report is stuffed with platforms, channel shift to online advances. store pick capabilities and other nonsense. Perhaps lack of basic English is becoming a requisite for a senior management position.

As for the results themselves they show a 12.5% rise in revenue because of the strength of its customer offer, a 2.7% increase in gross margins and investment in its platform. The result of all this is an 18.1% fall in profit before tax, as a result of higher depreciation. Active customers during the half year rose by 600,000 but significantly the value of their average basket fell by 1.4%. There are signs that price deflation has begun to ease and management sees that as a possible opportunity for increasing profits, a view which explains why Sainsbury took over as King of the High Street with its results yesterday.

Persimmon PSN claims that its trading performance for the half year to 30th June has been excellent, with legal completions up by 8%. The increase in the average selling price was somewhat restrained at only 3.5% but with over £1 billion of cash swilling around in its coffers it can perhaps afford to show a bit more generosity towards its customers as well as to its shareholders. Mortgage interest rates remain compelling and consumer confidence is seen as resilient. as for the second half forward sales are up by 18%

1PM plc OPM has experienced strong levels of demand and trading results for the year to 31st May are expected to show further strong growth with profit before tax up by 28%, marginally ahead of expectations and revenue by 34%, in line with expectations


Booker Group BOK enjoyed a good first quarter for th 12 weeks to 1st June with non tobacco like form like sales rising by 9.6% and like for like tobacco sales down 7.9%. The competition process for its proposed merger with Tesco, continues.

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