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UK's Ocado sales growth held back by fire at distribution centre

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UK's Ocado sales growth held back by fire at distribution centre
FILE PHOTO: An Ocado truck returns to the Ocado depot in Hatfield, southern England July 21, 2010. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett   -   Copyright  Suzanne Plunkett(Reuters)
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LONDON (Reuters) – British online supermarket Ocado said on Tuesday retail revenue growth slowed in its latest quarter, hit by last month’s huge fire at its flagship robotic distribution centre.

The firm, which last month announced a joint venture with Marks and Spencer, said its retail revenue increased 11.2 percent to 404 million pounds ($536.2 million) in the 13 weeks to March 3, its fiscal first quarter, having risen 12 percent in the previous quarter.

Prior to the blaze Ocado’s Andover site in southern England was providing about 10 percent of the firm’s UK capacity. It warned in February of a reduction in sales growth until it can increase capacity elsewhere.

Ocado said its initial assessment of the reasons for the fire gave it confidence there were no significant implications for the risk profile of the assets or the viability of the model.

(Reporting by James Davey)

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