UK-based online supermarket Ocado Retail has reported that its revenue for the first quarter (Q1) of the fiscal year 2022 (FY22) amounted to £564.7m ($744.1m).

This represents a 5.7% decrease from £599.1m in the same period of last year.

The decline was caused by a challenging comparative and a 4% drop in UK grocery market sales.

During the 13 weeks to 27 February, Ocado’s customer orders rose by 11.6% to 367,500 from an average of 329,300 orders a week in Q1 2021.

The company also saw its active customer numbers reach 835,000 in the quarter, up by 31% from the same period of last year.

Ocado Retail CEO Melanie Smith said: “The last quarter has been encouraging for Ocado Retail despite the clearly evident challenges the industry and consumers are facing.

“Active customers have increased by 31%, demonstrating the continued strong appetite for Ocado’s unique and market-leading brand of online grocery.

“Of course, as we have seen since the end of Covid restrictions, the value of the average basket and shape of the week continue to normalise as we return towards the rhythm of our pre-Covid lives.

“Given that we are comparing a post-lockdown quarter this year with a lockdown quarter last year, this has meant that sales were down 5.7% in the quarter, not helped by the softening market overall, with smaller baskets offsetting the increase in the number of customer transactions in the quarter.”  

For FY22, Ocado Retail expects its full-year growth rate to be closer to 10%.

The company will also open its Bicester customer fulfilment centre this year, which will add 30,000 orders a week at maximum capacity.

Earlier this week, Ocado entered an agreement with Auchan Retail Poland to develop Auchan Retail Poland’s online business.

The two companies will develop a customer fulfilment centre to serve the Warsaw region from 2024.