Just Eat share price drops as group unveils better than expected revenues

 
Caitlin Morrison
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Customer numbers rose in the UK (Source: Getty)

Takeaway group Just Eat has reported a £103.5m loss for the year to 31 December.

The figures

Revenue rose to £546.3m from £375.7m, while gross profit increased to £450.3m from £340.5m.

The group swung to a pre-tax loss of £76m, compared with a profit of £91.3m.

This translated to a 15.2p loss per share, down from 10.7p earnings per share.

The firm increased the number of UK active customers by 14 per cent last year, hitting 10.5m.

Why it's interesting

Just Eat's revenues were ahead of expectations, but this failed to satisfy investors, with shares dropping 14 per cent at the open.

According to analysts, this is because chief executive Peter Plumb, who was appointed to lead the group last summer, plunged a large chunk of cash into working with branded restaurants.

Laith Khalaf, senior analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown said: "The market was well aware that Just Eat were keen to develop delivery solutions for branded restaurants.

"But no-one knew how much new CEO Peter Plumb was prepared to spend on the project. The answer, it turns out, is about £50m in 2018. This news has rather overshadowed what were otherwise an excellent set of numbers for 2017."

What Just Eat said

Plumb said 2017 was a record year for Just Eat.

"We helped 21.5m customers order 172m takeaways around the world, growing group revenue by 45 per cent to £546m. More restaurant partners joined our platform, increasing the breadth of choice for our customers and strengthening the group's geographical coverage to over 82,000 restaurants," he said.

"As the new CEO, I will be increasing our investment in brand, developing markets and delivery services that will be engineered to complement our thriving marketplace business by bringing more choice to our takeaway-loving customers."

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