The boss of Just Eat Takeaway.com said he expected the company to start returning to the black after upgrading its guidance on order growth.
Jitse Groen, the delivery group’s chief executive, said that underlying losses, mainly caused by its heavy investment programme and fee caps in the US and Canada, had now peaked. He added: “We therefore expect the company to trend back to profitability going forward while retaining significant growth during the second half of the year.”
The total number of customer orders grew by 61 per cent in the first half of the year, excluding its newly acquired US business, and by 47 per cent in the second half, helped by strong demand during the Euro 2020 football championships, of which the company was among the main sponsors.
Groen said that the investment programme in the so-called “legacy Just Eat markets” such as the UK was proving a success, as a result of which it has upped its full-year guidance on growth in orders from at least 42 per cent to more than 45 per cent.
He said that the group’s work in redressing the underinvestment of the past had driven growth and gained market share, particularly in the UK. In London it achieved “triple-digit order growth” in the first half of this year compared with the same period last year.
The UK was once again its largest and fastest-growing market, with order growth of 61 per cent in the second quarter after a 766 per cent jump in delivery orders.
The FTSE 100 group made its name as a marketplace, taking orders for restaurants but not delivering the food. More recently it set up its own logistics business to enable it to work with big chains such as McDonald’s, Greggs and Starbucks. Having started off by contracting out such deliveries to third party courier operations, it has now set up its own delivery operation, called Scoober, which it is expanding across Europe in cities including Liverpool, London and Birmingham.
Just Eat Takeaway.com was formed in February last year via the £10 billion merger of Just Eat and Takeaway.com, its Dutch rival. Just Eat began in Copenhagen in 2001, entered the British market in 2006 and was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 2014. Takeaway.com was founded in 2000 by Groen. The group has its headquarters in Amsterdam and operations in countries including Germany, Canada, Australia, France, Spain and Israel.
In June it completed the $7.3 billion takeover of Grubhub, taking it into the US market and creating, it said, “one of the largest online food delivery marketplaces globally, with very significant growth opportunities in several of the largest profit pools in the world”.
In the first half, orders for the combined business grew by 51 per cent and the gross transaction value rose by 46 per cent to €14.1 billion. The company said that it expected the gross transaction value for the full year of the combined business to be between €28 billion and €30 billion.
Just Eat Takeaway.com said that, following the Grubhub deal, it continued to review its listing options.