It has been revealed that Ocado’s founder and chief executive snapped up a £54m bonus last year despite widening financial losses at the company.

Ocado, once focused on purely online grocery orders but now a leader in the provision of robotic warehouse technology, has not made a profit for three years.

Tim Steiner’s rewards – linked to the company’s surging share price – were published in the firm’s annual report hours after financial results for 2019 showed that Ocado made a pre-tax loss of £214m, up from £44.4m in the previous year.

The bulk of that deterioration in its bottom line was put down to a fire that destroyed its flagship automated warehouse in Andover a year ago, despite the group saying it was fully insured.

Group revenues had risen by 9% to £1.8bn.

Mr Steiner’s bonus, which came on top of his £4.7m salary, is based on the performance of Ocado’s share price over five years under an incentive scheme.

It has risen by 34% alone in the past year – giving it a market value of more than £8.7bn.

He has a personal holding of almost 4% of his own that is worth more than £300m at current values.

The share price surge is down to the growing number of partnerships Ocado has signed with retailers overseas to open robotic warehouses – saving users vast sums in labour costs.

It warned that capital expenditure would more than double in the current year to £600m as it prepares to open such sites for Sobeys in Canada and Casino in Paris.

Ocado has also announced similar deals with Kroger in the United States, Coles in Australia, and most recently Aeon in Japan.

The company is also preparing to end its grocery supply contract with Waitrose in favour of Marks & Spencer.

Its joint venture, known as Ocado Retail, was completed last summer and is due to begin in September marking the first foray into home grocery deliveries for M&S.

(c) Sky News 2020: Ocado boss Tim Steiner bags £54m bonus despite pre-tax loss of £214m