JUST EAT culls “bad online experience” restaurants as half-year revenue surges

Revenues for the six months to 30 June 2015 were up 62 per cent to £107.8m, with EBITDA climbing 52 per cent to £25.8m. The number of orders grew by 52 per cent, meaning the business handled 41.9m transactions during the period.

Business in the UK grew by 49 per cent year-on-year, against an “improved” underlying EBITDA which itself was up by 44 per cent – all this “despite significant ongoing investment”.

With 20,000 restaurants on its platform, JUST EAT has also begun to remove restaurants which were deemed to be providing a “consistently bad online experience” for customers. A figure quoted in The Times suggested CEO David Buttress had cut 200 underperforming eateries.

“Now we’re being more robust about the customer experience and proactively removing a few hundred restaurants in the UK, although it’s still small in the context of the more than 20,000 restaurants we have here,” he explained.

Commenting on the new financial figures, Buttress said: “JUST EAT has made a very strong start to 2015, increasing the numbers of active users, takeaway restaurants and orders. We have seen the success of our ongoing strategy to reinvest profits above target to drive additional growth.

“I am particularly pleased to see the results of our mobile strategy which has already created a much improved experience for our app and mobile users. We have acquired market-leading operations in three new rapidly growing markets of scale: Mexico, Australia and New Zealand.”

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JUST EAT floated on the London Stock Exchange in April 2014 using the market’s High Growth Segment. Shortly after it transferred to the Main Market, where it currently resides.

Prior to its IPO, the takeaway platform banked £55m from venture capital investors including Index Ventures, 83North and Vitruvian Partners over a three-year period.

Its merger and acquisition activity during the first half of 2015 saw it purchase Australia and New Zealand-based Menulog Group, following order growth in the first half of the year of 91 per cent for the platform.

In February it bought Mexico “market leader” SinDelantal Mexico, which it plans to “significantly increase” its investment in to during the second half of the year.

Personnel additions saw Barnaby Dawe hired as the company’s new chief marketing officer, while Lisa Hillier became chief people officer. There are now nearly 1,300 full-time staff at JUST EAT, up by more than 200 over this time last year.

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