Just Eat revenue jumps as company targets £1bn in sales

Just Eat has reported a jump in annual revenue and profit as the online food firm targets £1 billion in sales this year.

The group saw revenue grow 43% in 2018 to £779.5 million, boosted by strong growth in the UK and Canada.

Underlying earnings rose 6% to £173.9 million in the year to December 31, while pre-tax profits came in at £101.7 million, compared with a £76 million loss in 2017.

UK orders were up 17% and sales increased by 27%, aided by the successful integration of HungryHouse.

In Canada, where it operates SkipTheDishes, revenue soared 186% at constant currency with the launch of multilingual capabilities.

Interim boss Peter Duffy said: “We have a clear plan for the year ahead as our highly experienced team works hard to accelerate the execution of our strategy and we remain focused on long-term returns for shareholders.”

The group expects revenue to come in between £1 billion and £1.1 billion next year, and earnings in the range of £185 million to £205 million.

Just Eat invested £51 million last year to help deliver what it called a “hybrid strategy”. This included £21 million in the UK to help restaurants fulfil their deliveries.

Mr Duffy added: “We are creating a leading hybrid offering founded on our unrivalled marketplace, combined with the targeted roll-out of delivery. This gives our growing customer base access to the greatest choice of restaurants and drives even more orders to our restaurant partners, ultimately strengthening the network effects of our business.”

However, Just Eat is under intense pressure from shareholder Cat Rock, which has ripped into the company over recent board appointments and has ordered it to seek a merger with a “well-run industry peer”.

Deliveroo High Court challenge
Deliveroo High Court challenge

The group, which owns 2% of Just Eat, has said this would be a better outcome than relying on the board to choose a new chief executive following the departure of boss Peter Plumb last month.

Just Eat is attempting to keep up with Deliveroo and Uber, which have been muscling in on its territory of late.

Speculation that Uber is in early talks to buy rival Deliveroo has also recently hit Just Eat’s shares.