Online grocer plan £1 billion flotation

OCADO, the online grocery firm that delivers Waitrose products, will this week formally announce plans for a £1 billion flotation as it unveils a surge in sales and profits.

Underlying profits in the first half of Ocado's financial year are thought to have doubled from more than 2 million to between 4m and 5m, while sales are expected to show a 30 per cent increase.

The firm will make a formal announcement about its planned initial public offering this week, but the flotation is not expected to materialise until next month.

Customers will be able to buy shares in the company if they have spent more than 300 on goods delivered to their door since the beginning of the year.