Just Eat Takeaway announced today that it expects to exceed its core profit target for 2023, after it broke even on free cash flow in the second half of last year.
The company credited the profits to its best ever fourth quarter performance in Ireland, the UK and Northern Europe.
This comes despite orders falling by 6% in Ireland and the UK and by 5% in Northern Europe.
€10 Million Above Forecast
The meal delivery group sees adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation of around €320 million.
This is about €10 million above the forecast it gave for the year in mid-October.
Food delivery companies are looking to shift to stable profitability after the sector boomed during the pandemic, even as they invest more in marketing to help retain customers.
The cost of living has also impacted the industry.
Chief executive of Just Eat, Jitse Groen said the growth was aided by cost cuts that included laying off staff in the United States and bringing down costs per order delivery.
Global Decline in GTV
Gross transaction value (GTV), a common metric for food delivery companies, grew by 4% in Northern Europe and by 5% in the UK and Ireland in the fourth quarter, Just Eat's best ever quarter in these markets.
However, the company’s annual GTV overall fell by 4% in line with the previous forecast.
This was weighed down by an 11% decline in North America, where Just Eat is still exploring a partial or full sale of its Grubhub unit.
Groen said Just Eat would continue to invest in the UK, its biggest market, while "competitors have to drive down the investments".
Just Eat is Europe’s biggest meal delivery group.
In June 2023, the company published a food delivery report where they found that the total annual expenditure on food delivery and takeaway orders in the Irish market is an estimated €2.2 billion, excluding VAT.