UK's Ocado shares lower after fire at biggest automated warehouse

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: An Ocado delivery van is seen driving in Hatfield, Britain February 26, 2021. REUTERS/Matthew Childs/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) – Shares in Ocado (LON:) were 3% lower on Monday after the British online supermarket and technology group’s largest automated warehouse suffered a fire, halting the fulfilment of customer orders from the site.

The blaze at its centre at Erith, south east London, on Friday was the second major fire at the group in the past three years.

Ocado said on Saturday the fire appeared to have been caused by the collision of three robots on the warehouse’s grid system.

It said the damage was limited to a small section of less than 1% of the grid.

Ocado warned of “some disruption to operations” but said it expected the facility to resume operating this week.

A huge blaze destroyed Ocado’s distribution centre in Andover, southern England, in 2019, requiring a total rebuild. That incident was caused by an electrical fault in a battery that caused a robot to catch fire.

Ocado said the Andover fire had no implications for the viability of the group’s model. It has since signed several more technology partnership deals with overseas supermarket groups.

But a second robot fire may concern existing and potential customers of Ocado’s technology.

The Erith plant serves Ocado Retail – a joint venture between Ocado Group and Marks & Spencer.

Shares in Ocado were down 3% at 1,749 pence at 0704 GMT, extending 2021 losses to 23%.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

See also  UK workers on payrolls fall by 612,000

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here