Ocado warehouse fire in Andover finally out

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption Residents evacuated from homes say

Shares in United Kingdom online supermarket group Ocado slumped Wednesday after a fire ripped through a company warehouse operated by robots. It will, we believe, issue a slow sales growth warning while it tries to source alternative solutions to fulfil orders.

Chief Fire officer Neil Odbin from Hampshire Fire and Rescue has already revealed that the fire has spread into a second building on the site and efforts to extinguish the blaze are hampered due to the internals and dangers within the multi-million-pound warehouse. "It's an incredibly hard fire to get into because of the nature of the building". Earlier this week, Ocado affirmed its 2019 financial outlook, including a 10 percent to 15 percent increase in retail revenue, if economic conditions remain stable. The deal entails Ocado supplying Kroger with 20 automated warehouses, and when it was first announced, Ocado share prices skyrocketing 44 per cent - equating to around £2 billion. The company said Tuesday that it's talking to other retailers about potential deals, renewing speculation about a possible partnership with Marks & Spencer Group Plc.

A spokesperson told TWinFM: "Since our last update, the Fire Brigade has continued to work to bring the fire at Andover under control".

And it said it had comprehensive insurance for the property, stock and equipment on site, and for business interruption losses.

The cause of the fire has not been established. Around 200 firefighters have remained on site at a time, with services from surrounding counties having to assist. Ocado's trucks were not affected and have been removed from the site.

The grocer has other warehouses, including in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, which have been unaffected. The company has now delivered an update to ThisWeekinFM - including the effect the fire will have on the company's business.

"The question investors have is: 'Does this impact the viability/scalability/cost of the CFCs that they have sold?,'" said Bernstein analyst Bruno Monteyne.

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