London (Brussels Morning) British online retailer Ocado has acquired two robotics companies for 240 million euros, according to Reuters.
The digital supermarket, which delivers groceries and home essentials to people’s homes, said Monday it was buying the two companies Kindred Systems Inc and Haddington Dynamics Inc.
The purchases cost 262 million dollars (224 million euros) and 25 million dollars (24.1 million euros), respectively.
Robotics are often used in retail for routine tasks, such as picking or capturing data for product and consumer trend analysis.
Kindred Systems builds robots that pick and pack online orders and Haddington makes robotic arms.
The acquisitions will help “accelerate delivery, innovate more and grow faster”, said Tim Steiner, Ocado’s CEO.
Ocado is already known for its robotics capabilities helping it to forge partnerships with various supermarkets, which has seen the PLC overtake Sainsbury’s, M&S and Tesco in performance earlier this year.
Reuters also reported the acquisitions enabled Ocado to diversify into robotics solutions as well as online groceries.
“That is demonstrated by Kindred Systems’ robust growth, with existing customers such as Gap and American Eagle across the general merchandise and logistics sectors”, said Steiner.
The group said the new companies would not impact its financials in 2020 but is likely to increase its revenue next year with a minimal negative impact on earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation.
Ocado’s new 1.7 billion euro joint venture with M&S also led to a strong September, particularly as online shopping has increased in popularity.
While the pandemic has caused many businesses to falter due to restrictions on movement, the downturn of the economy and diminishing consumer purchasing power, Ocado has benefited from changing buyers’ habits and a turn to digital commerce for everyday products.
“Ocado continues to see high demand as consumers migrate to online grocery in record numbers”, said the company.