Ocado Turning Japanese

Friday, November 29: The FTSE 100(-0.94%) opened lower, following Asian markets which closed in the red as caution came to the fore with respect to US-China trade tensions. Chinese diplomats have promised to respond in kind after President Trump approved legislation aimed at protecting the rights of Hong Kong protestors.

Ocado Group(+10.32%) jumped as the online supermarket announced a deal to develop the online grocery platform of Aeon, a Japanese retailer with 21,000 food stores across 14 countries. A national fulfilment network will be constructed to serve the whole of the Japanese market, with anticipated sales of ¥600bn by 2030, and ¥1tn by 2035. The service is muted to go live in 2023, with Aeon due to pay Ocado upfront fees upon signing and during the development phase, then ongoing fees linked to both sales achieved and installed capacity within each customer fulfilment centre and service criteria.

FTSE 250 Victrex(-1.30%) weighed on the index as analysts at Hargreaves Lansdown postulated that the chemicals company was set to blame a market slowdown for FY results which will be significantly behind last year’s. Problems are concentrated in the groups industrial division, notably automotive and electronics whilst the medical division proved less cyclical. FY results are due next Thursday.

European equities were lower at the close, with the FTSE 100 -0.94%, the CAC 40 -0.13% and the DAX 30 -0.07%.

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