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Just Eat Takeaway.com higher as earnings rocket amid order surge in first half

The food delivery app firm highlighted “accelerated order growth” in the second quarter of the year when many countries including the UK were under their strictest coronavirus measures

Just Eat Takeaway.com NV - Just Eat Takeaway.com earnings rocket amid order surge in first half

Just Eat Takeaway.com NV (LON:JET) has reported triple-digit earnings growth for the first half of 2020 after an acceleration in orders during the coronavirus lockdown period.

The food delivery app firm reported adjusted underlying earnings (EBITDA) for the six months to June 30, 2020, of €177mln, an increase of 133% on the prior year, while revenues expanded by 44% to €1bn.

The earnings surge was boosted by a 32% increase in orders during the period to 257mln, with the firm highlighting “accelerated order growth” in the second quarter of the year, when many countries including the UK were under their strictest lockdown measures, boosting demand for food delivery.

The FTSE 100-listed firm also reported a record number of new restaurant and active consumers on its platform during the first half, while an improvement in orders per returning active consumer also helped accelerate top-line growth.

However, despite the higher revenues and earnings, the company reported a wider loss of €158mln compared to €27mln in 2019, which was attributed to integration expenses incurred by the merger of Just Eat and Takeaway.com which was agreed in January.

Looking ahead, Just Eat said it will further invest in its delivery network to improve its market position, as well as devoting “considerable time and resources” to continue the integration of the firm following the merger.

“Just Eat Takeaway.com is in the fortunate position to benefit from continuing tailwinds. The United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, the Netherlands, Australia, and Brazil are performing particularly strongly”, chief executive Jitse Groen said in the results statement.

“On the back of the current momentum, we started an aggressive investment programme, which we believe will further strengthen our market positions. We are convinced that our order growth will remain strong for the remainder of the year”, the CEO added.

Shares in Just Eat jumped 2.2% to 8,872p in mid-morning trading on Wednesday.

“A key question to weigh is whether the impact of Covid-19 on the space will be short-lived or if it will be a lasting legacy of the pandemic," pondered analysts at AJ Bell.

“People may take time to get used to frequenting restaurants again, particularly while restrictions are in place, but there are other attractions to getting someone else to prepare your food than just the eating of it and people may eventually be drawn back to the social side of going out for a bite.

“The company’s acquisition drive reflects the pressure it feels in an extremely competitive marketplace – one that includes Deliveroo and Uber Eats.

“Deliveroo casts a particularly large shadow thanks to Amazon’s plan to take a stake in the business – though this remains subject to approval by the competition authorities. Typically Amazon parking its tanks on the lawn in a market is bad news for the competition.”

--Adds share price and broker comment--

Quick facts: Just Eat Takeaway.com NV

Price: 8600 GBX

LSE:JET
Market: LSE
Market Cap: £12.79 billion
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