Doubts over ‘going concern’ at Ocado

Qualifying comments have been made on the audit of Ocado, the online grocery
store part-owned by the John Lewis Partnership.

PricewaterhouseCoopers, the auditors, made qualifying comments in the course
of their audit referring to ‘uncertainty’ over the long-term future of the
company’s funding and warned that this could cast doubt on its ability to
continue as a going concern.

The 2006 audit shows a £43m loss, only slightly up from the 2005 deficit of

But the groups CFO, Jason Gissing, dismissed the caution from the auditor as
a standard caveat that had been in the accounts over the last six months,

Gissing also denied that management felt gloomy about the latest figures
saying the overall business was moving forward better than ever.

The company has indicated that the operating deficit should be down to £33m
by the end of 2007.

John Lewis has insisted that Ocado, which hoped for a flotation recently,
must hold a good profit record before any flotation.

Further reading:

Ocado survive after yet more losses?

slow progress casts doubt on float

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