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FTSE 100: Deliveroo widens losses in first half as cost of living bites

·Finance Reporter, Yahoo Finance UK
·3-min read
A Deliveroo delivery cyclist rides past a billboard reading “Be kind. Let’s look out for one another” in Brick Lane, east London, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. Picture date: Friday April 24, 2020.
Deliveroo revealed widening losses, slowing growth and the loss of Next boss Simon Wolfson from its board. Photo: PA

Delivery platform Deliveroo (ROO.L) has posted a heftier loss in "challenging market conditions" in the first half of the year as demand for takeaways eases back amid a cost of living crisis.

The food delivery company reported a pre-tax loss of £147.3m ($178.1m/€174.3m) for the first half of 2022, against losses of £95.4m a year earlier.

It also announced a share buyback programme of up to £75m for the “purpose of mitigating dilution from share-based compensation plans.”

The group last month slashed its annual outlook on the back of sliding sales and waning consumer confidence.

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But it did manage to grow revenues, orders and gross transaction value (GTV) in the same period. Revenues increased 12% to £1bn, with GTV up 7% to £3.6bn, as its commissions and consumer fees rose and it made more money from advertising.

However, growth in GTV slowed considerably as the half progressed, falling from 12% in its first-quarter to 2% in its second, "reflecting the impact of increased consumer headwinds". The average Deliveroo order cost just above £22.

“It’s a pleasant surprise to see Deliveroo beat estimates, as it looked to be a prime candidate to serve up bad news. After all, if consumers are under increasing financial pressure, cutting back on a takeaway meals is an easy win and that would feed through to lower activity for Deliveroo," Danni Hewson, financial analyst at AJ Bell, said.

“If you dig deeper into its latest results, there are still reasons to be cautious, however. Growth has slowed in the past quarter and the principal reason it managed to beat estimates was by cutting back on marketing spend. That might explain why the share price didn’t rally on the news," she added.

In the UK and Ireland, revenues in the half rose 13% to £544.4m, outpacing GTV growth of 8%, while orders increased 12% to 80.1m.

Deliveroo said it would quit the Netherlands after failing to gain a strong local position.

The group also revealed that Lord Simon Wolfson had stepped down from Deliveroo’s board on Monday, with the Next boss saying “the time required to continue in my role at Deliveroo is no longer compatible with my executive and other commitments”.

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Founder and chief executive Will Shu said he was committed to delivering profitable growth and reaching the milestone of profitability on the adjusted core earnings level.

"So far in 2022, we have made good progress delivering on our profitability plan, despite increased consumer headwinds and slowing growth during the period," he said.

"We remain confident in our ability to adapt financially to any further changes in the macroeconomic environment."

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