Ocado shares down 8.1% as fire damage worsens at UK hub

Shares in online grocery retailer Ocado remained under pressure after it confirmed a fire at its Andover distribution centre in southern England had worsened overnight and would hurt sales volumes.

'Unfortunately the fire which started yesterday morning in a corner of the ambient grid was not contained as we believed, and last night expanded,' the company said.

'Whilst we are informed by the Fire Brigade that it is now under control, during the night part of the roof collapsed and there has been substantial damage to the majority of the building and its contents.'

Ocado said it would update the market when it had time to address the damage and return the customer fulfilment centre to operation.

'As Andover was providing approximately 10% of our current capacity, as a result of this incident there will be a constraint on our ability to meet our growing customer demand and there will be a reduction in sales growth until we can increase capacity elsewhere,' it said.

'Ocado has comprehensive insurance for the property, stock and equipment on site, and for business interruption losses.'

At 1:23pm: (LON:OCDO) Ocado Group Plc share price was -80.8p at 953.2p