Belfast Telegraph

Sales at Just Eat soar 46% as UK orders climb to 24m

By Ravender Sembhy

Revenues at online delivery firm Just Eat rocketed in the first quarter as it continued to benefit from hungry customers ordering food online.

Sales rose by 46% to £118.9m in the three months to March 31, with UK orders rising 17% to 24 million. On a like-for-like and currency-neutral basis, revenue was up 40% and total orders grew 25% to 39 million.

Just Eat, which also operates in Northern Ireland, said the figure would have been higher had it not been for an early Easter and one day less of trading because of the leap year.

The firm is experiencing management upheaval, with chief executive David Buttress forced to step down in February due to "urgent family matters" and chairman and interim boss John Hughes also taking a leave of absence to undergo treatment for a medical condition.

Interim chief executive Paul Harrison said: "Just Eat has enjoyed another period of strong growth.

"In addition to structural market growth, we are also seeing the benefits of ongoing investments in technology and marketing."

The company reiterated its full-year guidance of revenues of between £480m and £495m, and underlying earnings of between £157m and £163m.

Meanwhile, Ocado shares surged by as much as 8% yesterday amid speculation that the online grocer could be in line for a lucrative home delivery deal with Marks & Spencer.

The two retailers are reportedly set to launch talks in the coming weeks, helping push Marks & Spencer into online grocery delivery for the first time.

But M&S is said to be exploring a number of options that could see it strike up a separate partnership or ditch those plans altogether, according to sources cited by the Telegraph, which first reported the story.

Belfast Telegraph