By Toby Sterling
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Online food-ordering company Just Eat Takeaway.com said on Wednesday it expected further growth in 2021 after a surge in online orders during the COVID-19 pandemic helped it meet expectations for full-year 2020 earnings.
Demand for food-delivery services boomed last year as government-imposed curbs shuttered restaurants and customers stayed at home, driving a 42% surge in the company’s orders to 588 million.
“This (the pandemic) brought unprecedented challenges to our restaurants and consumers … but it also created tailwinds for our business,” Chief Executive Officer Jitse Groen said in a statement.
Takeaway also said it expected to increase its market share this year in the United Kingdom, citing a 88% surge in orders there in the first two months of 2021.
The company’s sales rose 54% to 2.40 billion euros ($2.85 billion) in 2020, in line with analysts’ expectations of 2.39 billion euros, according to Refinitiv data.
Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose to 256 million euros, from 217 million euros a year earlier.
The figures were adjusted to account for Takeaway’s $7.8 billion takeover of Britain’s Just Eat in April 2020 as if it had owned the company in both years.
Takeaway last year also agreed to buy U.S. peer Grubhub in a $7.3 billion deal that would make it the largest food delivery company outside of China.
It reiterated on Wednesday that the deal is set to close in the first half of 2021, pending approval from Grubhub shareholders.
Shares in Takeaway closed on Tuesday at 80.10 euros, down from nearly 100 euros in June when it announced the all-share deal for Grubhub.
Takeaway competes in its biggest European markets — Britain, Germany and the Netherlands — with Uber and Deliveroo, which said on Monday it would seek a stock market listing in London.
Takeaway said it had rejected a 2.3 billion euro offer for its 33% stake in iFood of Brazil, which is majority owned by tech giant Prosus. It did not name the bidder.
(Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Aditya Soni)