StockMarketWire.com - Online grocery group Ocado reported a first-half loss, as expenses associated with developing its logistics technology businesses continued to offset rising retail sales.

Pre-tax losses for the six months through March amounted to £23.6 million, compared to year-on-year losses of £40.6 million.

Revenue rose 21% to £1.32 billion, including retail revenue generated through the company's online grocery joint venture with Marks & Spencer of £1.22 billion.

The rest of the company's revenue was generated by its budding "solutions" business, which provides delivery logistics technology to external grocery-store partners.

Separately, Ocado announced that it had signed an agreement with Auchan Retail to develop Alcampo's online grocery business in Spain using its solutions technology.

On its outlook, Ocado warned of lower earnings contributions from its solutions business of £30 million, reflecting more investment and slower-than-expected revenue generation.

It said, however, the hit would be offset by the performance of its retail business.

Consequently, the company said it was maintaining its full-year outlook and did not expect a material change to consensus earnings forecasts. Story provided by StockMarketWire.com