Ocado
Ocado is on the lookout for an international deal this yearReuters

Online supermarket Ocado reported an 18.2% rise in sales in the 24 weeks leading up to 17 May 2015 to £507.7m (€714.9m, $798.4m), in a solid half-year trading update.

The company, which was expected to announce a deal with an international retailer to expand overseas, said it hopes to sign a first international deal in 2015.

"Against this backdrop, our relentless focus on customer satisfaction continues to drive customer numbers and like-for-like sales ahead of the online grocery market," the retailer's chief executive, Tim Steiner, said in the press release.

"Our continuous commitment to constant innovation in technology [allows us] to offer our end-to-end platform solution to retailers outside the UK. We are excited by the possibility and reiterate our target of signing a first agreement during 2015."

Ocado said that its own label sales rose by 25% and it underlined the company's focus on purchasing apps for smartphones and even the AppleWatch, as sales made with mobile devices grew 50% in the half year.

In an analyst note, Brenda Kelly, head analyst at London Capital Group, said: "The Q2 update is encouraging, with success in growing its customer base despite a challenging backdrop. A solid Q2 trading performance and news that the online delivery service is in talks with international retailers has seen shares in Ocado push up some 30% since the lows of late March."

Ocado made its first deal with a third-party company in 2013, which contributed to its first report of annual profit. Because of its progressive position as an online supermarket, shareholders are hoping that an international agreement will be signed so Ocado can make a name for itself in the global market.