Ocado shares soar as it wins US robot wars court battle in opposition to Norwegian rival Autostore
Shares in Ocado rose after a authorized victory within the US over patents for its robots, however poor gross sales took the glint off.
Norwegian robot firm Autostore stated it was the inventor and proprietor of some Ocado patents – however an International Trade Commission decide stated that was not the case.
Ocado, which is led by Tim Steiner, stated: ‘We have consistently stated that Ocado does not infringe any valid Autostore IP [intellectual property], and we are pleased that the judge has now agreed with us.
Norwegian rival Autostore had accused Ocado of intellectual property breaches, which Ocado said was in an attempt to thwart its US growth.
‘This was a misconceived attempt to interfere with our business in the US.’
Shares jumped 5.5 per cent, or 87p, to 1678p. But Ocado stated gross sales in its newest quarter have been dented by labour shortages and a hearth at its web site in Erith, Kent.
Shopping habits returned to extra regular ranges although Government ‘plan B’ recommendation to do business from home may end in a lift.
The common order dimension dropped by 12 per cent from final yr to £118 and gross sales within the three months to November 28 have been 3.9 per cent down.
It delivered £547.8million of groceries, up from £416.2million earlier than Covid struck however down on final yr.
Almost 30 per cent of all deliveries have been objects from Marks and Spencer. Ocado plans to increase and analysts assume M&S will finally purchase it completely.
Finance chief Stephen Daintith stated that studies that M&S will purchase the remaining 50 per cent of Ocado Retail it doesn’t personal are ‘pure speculation’.
He stated: ‘There are absolutely no plans in that respect.’