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Just Eat's shares gain on booming orders and £2.2bn first half revenue

CARDIFF, WALES - MAY 1: A Just Eat worker on May 1, 2021 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)
Orders boomed in the first half for Just Eat as consumers habits turned to takeaways. Photo: Matthew Horwood/Getty

Just Eat's (JET.L) shares rose even as the company said that a heavy period of promotions and deals to snag new customers had weighed on its top line.

The company said it had fallen to a €71m (£60.6m) underlying pre-tax loss in the UK compared with a €127m profit in the same period a year ago. Overall revenue was up 52% for the half, to €2.6bn.

This came even as households placed orders 3.2 times a month on average — up from 2.5 times a month during the first half of 2020 as the pandemic hit.

The number of orders placed on Just Eat in the UK soared by 58 million in the first six months of 2021 to 135 million compared with a year earlier.

The company saw its share of the London market increase 10% following a major period of investment earlier in the year.

Shares had gathered steam by 9.05am in London heading up around 2.2%.

JustEat shares gained in early trade in London, but were still down from five days ago. Chart: Yahoo Finance UK
JustEat shares gained in early trade in London, but were still down from five days ago. Chart: Yahoo Finance UK

“The investment in delivery and extensive brand marketing is a long-term market share play but will serve to crimp margins, especially if delivery volumes cannibalise marketplace orders which are significantly more profitable overall," said Dan Thomas AVP at research firm Third Bridge.

“Competition in Germany, Just Eat Takeaway’s second highest margin region in H2, will also be a concern. Where Takeaway’s Lieferando brand had previously dominated the market, Delivery Hero’s re-entry will reignite the fight for market share in the country.”

Read more: FTSE declines even as UK job vacancies hit record highs

Takeaway companies have seen a boom during the pandemic, as consumers opted for home comforts during lockdowns and habits shifted.

Watch: Just Eat expects to create 1,000 UK jobs as it launches new agency worker model

Last week, rival Deliveroo (ROO.L) said in its interim results that its gross transaction value (GTV) — the total value of orders made on its platform — grew by 131% in the first quarter of 2021. But growth slowed to 81% in the second quarter, as restrictions on day-to-day life began to ease.

Its GTV grew by 102% to £3.4bn ($4.7bn) across the first six months of the year, which Deliveroo said showed “continued strength despite reopening effects and an increasingly tough comparison base”. Orders doubled to 148.8 million in the first half.

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