Belfast Telegraph

Just Eat raises earnings outlook despite summer orders slowdown

Just Eat has said this year's decent summer weather slowed growth in UK online takeaway orders, but upped its full-year earnings outlook thanks to strong demand worldwide.

The group said growth in UK orders nearly halved amid a "significantly warmer and drier" summer - rising by 28% in the three months to the end of September against a 50% surge a year earlier.

It said 80% of UK orders were made on smartphones, up from 74% a year ago, while more than 46% of UK orders were made using its app.

A robust performance globally saw 33.3 million orders in the third quarter, with like-for-like orders up by more than a third - a 34% hike.

Just Eat increased its expectations for full-year revenues to £371 million from £368 million and said this had pushed up its forecast for underlying earnings, to a range of £109 million to £111 million.

David Buttress, chief executive of Just Eat, said the group had delivered another quarter of "strong order growth".

He added: "Whilst we continue to invest in a number of technology and marketing initiatives and are starting to see the benefits of these in many of our markets, we have continued to focus on delivering the best possible service to our restaurants and customers."

Shares fell more than 2% as the slowdown in order growth in the third quarter overshadowed the profit guidance hike.

Just Eat unveiled a refreshed brand design in September as part of a revamp that saw it launch a new-look website and app, as well as a new "chatbot" offering food and restaurant tips.

The Facebook Messenger chatbot helped ''coach and inspire'' customers mulling over which food to try as Just Eat seeks to broaden itself from an online takeaway delivery firm into the ''world's greatest food community''.

Just Eat has more than 15.5 million customers and offers deliveries from 62,800 takeaway restaurants in 13 countries.

The UK accounts for 64% of group-wide revenues.

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