Just Eat raises earnings outlook as UK sales return to growth

Online food delivery giant Just Eat Takeaway.com has increased its earnings outlook once again after returning to sales growth across the UK and Ireland.

It reported a 4 per cent rise in UK and Ireland sales by gross transaction value (GTV), up 5 per cent on a constant currency basis, in the three months to the end of September, while it said the majority of its business also returned to growth, except for the US.

It saw an 18 per cent plunge in GTV across North America, down 11 per cent on constant currency, while the business spanning southern Europe, Australia and New Zealand also fell sharply, down 17 per cent.

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The Amsterdam-based group said the full-year GTV outturn will be at the bottom end of its previous guidance, down 4 per cent on a constant currency basis, as the North American business continues to suffer tougher trading.

Library image of a Just Eat delivery rider on a bike in Liverpool. (Photo by PA)Library image of a Just Eat delivery rider on a bike in Liverpool. (Photo by PA)
Library image of a Just Eat delivery rider on a bike in Liverpool. (Photo by PA)

Order numbers also continue to fall, down 3 per cent in the UK and Ireland and 7 per cent overall, as customer demand for takeaways has pulled back sharply since the height of the pandemic.

During the pandemic, demand for takeaways soared as millions of consumers were unable to dine out due to Government imposed restrictions to limit the spread of Covid-19.

However, this demand has reduced since these restrictions were lifted.

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The hospitality sector has staged a recovery over the last two years.

Just Eat said it is now expecting underlying earnings of around 310 million euro (£269m) in 2023, up from the 275 million euro (£239m) previously guided for.

It had already increased its earnings outlook in April.

Just Eat Takeaway.com chief executive Jitse Groen said: “The majority of our business has returned to GTV growth in the third quarter, with particular strong momentum in Northern Europe and the UK and Ireland segments.

“Within the UK and Ireland we continue to invest significantly whilst at the same time increasing profitability.”

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But he said the recovery of the North America division was on a “slower trajectory”.

Facing activist pressure, Just Eat has been forced to consider a sale of Grubhub – a US delivery company that it bought in 2021.

The group has also been slashing costs to offset the slowdown in takeaway demand as the boom seen during the pandemic fades.

In March, it announced plans to axe around 1,700 delivery driver jobs and 170 head office roles to make savings.

Just Eat, which employs around 15,000 workers globally, said at the time the cuts are part of a shake-up which will hit a service through which it employs its own couriers across several UK cities.

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