Online grocery company Ocado this morning reported a gross sales increase of 9.9% for its third quarter and added that year-to-date sales are running ahead by 11.3%.   

It explained that both both the number of orders taken and the average order size are up and that, at 5 August, it had cash and cash equivalents of £67.1m, compared with £83.1m at the same stage last year.

However, its sales growth did slow slightly in the third quarter, a move that was attributed to people’s attention being diverted by the Olympics.

Ocado, which unveiled profit downgrades last year, cautioned in June that the Jubilee events had impacted trading, but said it still expected sales growth in the second half overall and added that it anticipated an increase in the rate of sales growth in the fourth quarter.