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AMSTERDAM (Reuters) -Food-ordering firm Just Eat Takeaway.com on Tuesday reported a better-than-expected operating loss of 190 million euros ($224 million) for the first half of 2021.
Analysts in a company-compiled poll had forecast a loss before interest, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of 218 million euros.
Sales rose 52% to 2.61 billion euros, reflecting strong order growth during the coronavirus pandemic. Figures were adjusted to reflect Takeaway's $7.3 billion acquisition of U.S. peer GrubHub in June.
Chief Executive Officer Jitse Groen said in a statement that Just Eat Takeaway.com invested significantly in operations in the first six months of this year.
"Our consumer base, restaurant selection and order frequency have strongly increased, which will lead to improved profitability going forward," Groen said.
The company repeated its full-year forecast for an EBITDA loss of 1%-1.5% of its gross transaction value, which was 14.1 billion euros for the six months through June 30, compared with 9.69 billion euros in the same period a year earlier.
Takeaway, which competes in various markets with Uber Eats, Deliveroo and Delivery Hero, said it intends to sell its 33% stake in iFood of Brazil. However, it had rejected an offer of 2.3 billion euros as inadequate.
Takeaway shares closed at 72.25 euros on Monday, down 22% in the year-to-date.
($1 = 0.8497 euros)
(Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Subhranshu Sahu)