Just Eat Takeaway.com dines on 44% revenue surge

just eatFood delivery group Just Eat Takeaway.com recorded revenues of €1bn in the first half of 2020, with a 44 per cent year-on-year increase driven by the cravings of consumers unable to dine out.

The group predicted strong order growth throughout the rest of the year, despite the post-lockdown reopening of restaurants in markets such as the UK. Its shares were up 2 per cent on the news in morning trade on the London market.

“Just Eat Takeaway.com is in the fortunate position to benefit from continuing tailwinds,” said chief executive Jitse Groen, with the UK, Germany, Canada, the Netherlands, Australia, and Brazil performing particularly well.

The half-year results — the first since the £6bn merger of the UK’s Just Eat and Amsterdam-based Takeaway.com was approved by the Competition and Markets Authority — showed orders had risen by 32 per cent year on year to 257m, despite a downturn at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Net losses for the period after tax were €158m, compared with €27m in the first half of 2019. This was mainly attributed to expenses incurred in the integration of the two previous services as well as the $7.3bn all-stock deal for Chicago-based Grubhub, which gave it a foothold in the US market.

Mr Groen said that Just Eat Takeaway.com would look to put money into former Just Eat markets, such as the UK, Italy and Spain, where it felt there had been under-investment in recent years. “It’s about investing in countries and cities where we’re already strong and in most cases quite Ebitda positive,” he said.

Logistics and changes to marketing were areas being addressed to compete more effectively with other international brands. The company said all of its own brands now shared the same logo. Mr Groen said the UK’s “Eat Out to Help Out” scheme, offering discounts for consumers who choose to go to restaurants, was unlikely to impact takeaway orders. He said food delivery and dining out were rarely in direct competition, and pointed to continued capacity constraints facing restaurants.

Just Eat Takeaway.com said it had provided measures to support restaurants during the pandemic, such as €13m of temporary commission relief. It is not the only food delivery business to see a spike in demand from locked-down customers. In its April-June quarter, Uber’s food delivery business Uber Eats saw revenues increase 103 per cent year on year to $1.2bn, marking the first time it has driven more revenue for the company than ride-sharing.

Last month, German food delivery group Delivery Hero raised full-year guidance by about 8 per cent after it said that order numbers had nearly doubled during the pandemic. Just Eat Takeaway.com’s traditional business model has been to act as a marketplace for takeaway outlets. By contrast, companies such as Uber operate their own delivery network, an approach Mr Groen has often said he believes cannot be profitable.

However, the results show the pandemic has led to increased investment in delivery by Just Eat Takeaway.com. Delivery-related expenses amounted to €314m, 67 per cent higher than the first half of last year and accounting for 78 per cent of cost of sales.

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