Wednesday 18 July 2018

Just Eat orders top 400 million as Brits continue to gorge on takeaway

Just Eat said the performance was helped by its acquisition of Hungryhouse.

Just Eat has posted rising sales (PA)
Just Eat has posted rising sales (PA)

By Ravender Sembhy, Press Association City Editor

Online takeaway delivery firm Just Eat has served up its 400 millionth order in the UK, helping the firm post rising first quarter sales.

Revenue across the group rose 49% to £177.4 million in the three months to March 31 as it booked a 32% jump in orders to 51.6 million.

Just Eat said the performance was helped by its acquisition of Hungryhouse and increased orders over Easter.

UK orders increased by 24% to 29.7 million, with 1.4 million of those coming from Hungryhouse following Just Eat’s takeover of the firm in January.

The inclusion of part of the Easter holiday weekend in the period added an estimated 1% to UK order growth.

Just Eat reiterated full year guidance of revenue of between £660 million and £700 million and underlying earnings of £165 million to £185 million in 2018.

Shares roared to the top of the FTSE 100 following the update, jumping 4.5% in afternoon trade.

Boss Peter Plumb said: “Just Eat has had a strong start to the year.

“We delivered our 400 millionth order in the UK, grew well in Italy and Spain, whilst powering continued momentum in our Canadian delivery service SkipTheDishes.”

International orders were up 46% to 21.9 million, driven by “triple digit” order growth in Canada and strong performances in Italy and Spain, although the firm flagged “softness” in the Australia market.

The comments come after Just Eat swung into the red last year when it took a large hit on its Australian and New Zealand business.

The group – recently promoted to the FTSE 100 Index – slumped to a £76 million pre-tax loss in 2017 against profits of £91.3 million in 2016 after taking a £180.4 million charge on the acquisition of its Australian and New Zealand arm.

The group cautioned at the time that competition was “intensifying” across some of its markets, such as Australia and New Zealand.

Steve Clayton, of Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Strength looks to have been across the board, with underlying growth in the UK still in comfortable double digit territory and Skip the Dishes, their Canadian business expanding at triple digit rates.

“The big questions surrounding the group remain unanswered though; in Australia where a revamp of Menulog was mishandled last year, progress is still below par, whilst the profitability of the group’s delivery services is yet to be proven, compared to its wildly successful Marketplace core offering.”

Press Association

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