StockMarketWire.com - Online grocery delivery firm Ocado has upgraded its full year earnings expectations after reporting strong demand from its Ocado Retail joint venture with Marks & Spencer.

Ocado said trading remained strong through the fourth quarter of the current financial year, with the firm continuing to see high demand as consumers migrate to online grocery in record numbers.

As a result of this strong performance, the firm now expects full year EBITDA for the group to be over £60 million, versus previous guidance of over £40 million.

Meanwhile the company has also announced two acquisitions, having agreed a deal to buy advanced piece-picking robotics company Kindred Systems for $262 million, and robotic-arm designer and manufacturer Haddington Dynamics for $25 million.

Tim Steiner, CEO of Ocado, said, 'We consider the opportunities for robotic manipulation solutions to be significant, both for Ocado Smart Platform clients and across the fast-growing online retail and logistics sectors.'

He added, 'Given the market opportunity we want to accelerate the development of our systems, including improving their speed, accuracy, product range and economics.

'I am delighted to be welcoming Kindred Systems and Haddington Dynamics to the Ocado group, as we believe they have the capabilities to allow us to accelerate delivery, innovate more, and grow faster.'



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