London — British online supermarket pioneer Ocado has signed a partnership agreement with Australia’s Coles, its fifth major overseas deal in less than 18 months as food retailers around the globe respond to online competition. The latest deal, which will see Ocado’s technology and software develop the Coles Online grocery business in Australia, sent Ocado’s share price up as much as 6% in London on Tuesday to a record high. The stock has risen 147% in the past year. Coles closed 2.2% up. The Coles deal will see two robotic distribution centres — or customer fulfilment centres (CFCs) as Ocado calls them — built and go live within four years, one in Sydney and one in Melbourne. The Coles deal is Ocado’s first since a fire destroyed its flagship warehouse in Andover, southern England, last month. “It’s not unhelpful to announce a deal after that fire because it gives you evidence of what we always knew — that there were no consequences of the Andover fire," said CFO Duncan Tatton-Brow...

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