Deliveroo’s annual sales surge higher after rapid expansion into new areas

Deliveroo has revealed that sales surged 72% higher last year as the food delivery giant doubled the number of towns and cities it covers.

However, the rapidly growing business saw losses deepen to £232 million in 2018, from £199 million a year earlier, as it pumped money into technology and its expansion plans.

Deliveroo said it significantly increased its investment during the year, injecting £18 million into tech and £10 million into free insurance for its riders.

Funds were also driven into the company’s rapid growth strategy, which saw it enter two new markets, in Taiwan and Kuwait, and also launch in 250 new towns and cities, doubling its footprint.

The expansion drove the company’s sales growth to £476 million in the year to December 2018, up from £277 million in 2017.

However, the speed of growth was also slower – with the business previously revealing a 116% jump in sales between 2017 and 2018.

The firm said its gross profits also increased, rising 42% to £91 million, as it was buoyed by larger order volumes.

It said it was also boosted by the launch of its Marketplace+ platform, which helped it to connect with a further 7,000 restaurant partners, ahead of forecasts.

The accounts come five months after Deliveroo secured a 575 million US dollar (£470 million) funding round led by Amazon.

Deliveroo said it has continued its expansion into 2019, as it pushes forward with plans to launch in another 50 towns and cities across the UK.

Will Shu, Deliveroo co-founder and chief executive officer, said: “Deliveroo is growing from strength to strength and expanding across our markets as more and more people want amazing food delivered straight to their door.

“We’re focused on our mission of becoming the definitive food company, and we’ve continued to invest heavily in expansion, technology and new products to meet this ambition.

“We are leading the field in innovation in food delivery, helping our restaurant partners to boost their sales and providing more well-paid work for riders.”

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