Ocado has reported a 9.4% fall in pre-tax profits to £7.7million for the half year ending May 28 2017, blaming the opening of its new Andover facility for the drop in profits.

The e-tailer noted EBITDA grew 2.7% to £45.2 million, while group revenues increased from £584.2 million in 2016 to £659.6 million this year.

Active customers increased 12.7% year-on-year to over 600,000, while order volumes grew 15.6% to around 260,000 orders per week. Meanwhile, the average basket size declined 1.4% to £108.45, which the e-tailer puts down to the continued uptake of the Ocado Smart Pass and reduced multi-buy promotions.

“After several years of price deflation in the UK, we have seen this begin to ease in the period and, when combined with our increasing scale and operational efficiencies, this trend will support the continued profitable growth of our retail business,” said Ocado’s CEO, Tim Steiner.

“As the channel shift to online advances we continue to gain share in a competitive UK market. We expect the trend for grocery shopping online to continue as consumers become more tech savvy and gain confidence in the online services available. Ocado will be a natural beneficiary of that trend thanks to its industry-leading customer offer. We continue to build new facilities in the UK in order to meet the increasing demand we see.”

He added: “Grocery retailing is changing and we are ideally positioned to enable other retailers to achieve their online aspirations. We expect our recently announced international partnership to be the first of many and look forward to helping more retailers provide a high quality service to their customers in this rapidly evolving market.”