Just Eat is devouring its critics

The takeaway app is expanding faster than your waistline after too many burgers.

by Rachel Savage
Last Updated: 01 Mar 2016

When Just Eat floated last April, the biggest UK tech IPO in eight years, there were plenty of naysayers (including our own columnist Luke Johnson) who questioned its middleman, commission-collecting model, and a chorus of ‘I told you so’ when its stock tanked in the first couple of months. But the takeaway ordering platform is currently devouring its critics, serving up revenues of £157m last year, 62% higher than 2013.

Orders rose 52% to 61.2 million (which we already knew), while active users (at least one order in the last year) jumped 37% to 8.1 million as it processed more than £1bn of orders for more than 45,000 restaurants. And hungry consumers are going mobile - in the UK, 61% of orders were placed on smartphones, up from 43% in 2013.

Feeling full yet? Pre-tax profits also sizzled, growing more than 500% from £10.2m to £57.4m. The company, which was founded in Denmark in 2001, is predicting revenues of more than £200m in 2015.

Just Eat has also been busy snaffling up competitors of late, with seven acquisitions in 2014 and three so far this year, including UK business Meal2Go and Ireland’s Eatcity. It merged its Brazilian business with local rival iFood and increased its stake in French joint venture Alloresto to 80%.

And it’s found itself a new niche with British takeaway collection app Orogo (as opposed to just delivery). There are now 1,000 collection-only restaurants on its platform, and it estimates the market is worth £2.6bn in the UK, a little under half the value of the £5.5bn delivery market.

Shares were up a modest 1.3% to 368p in mid-morning trading, but investors had already factored in decent results - the order figures were announced in January. Overall, they’ve risen more than 40% since last year’s £1.47bn IPO.

Source: Yahoo Finance

But competitors like HungryHouse have been expanding, after raising £50m last year. ‘Branded restaurants have also awoken to the value of online ordering and delivery,’ Peel Hunt analyst Nick Batram said. But Just Eat can’t put down the knife and fork just yet.

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