Britain’s insatiable appetite for takeaways saw maiden profits at the recently floated online service Just Eat treble in the first half of the year.
And proving that romance is not dead, its customers hit their smartphones and tablets on Valentine’s Day to order a record 200,000 meals through the company, with orders at the peak running at 1,000 a minute.
“It’s been a fantastic start to our life as a public company,” David Buttress, the chief executive, said. “Our revenues are up 58 per cent, we added 4,500 new restaurants and 1 million more active users.”
Just Eat floated at 260p a share in April and its shares – partly hit by the spate of technology floats which have fallen out of favour – had fallen as much as 20 per cent from that. But yesterday’s news reassured investors and the shares gained 20.5p to 240p.
Mr Buttress said one of the particularly pleasing trends in the first half had been the continuing shift to customers ordering from smartphones and other mobile devices, which now account for more than half of all orders.
The total number of orders handled rose by 50 per cent in the first half to 27.5 million and, in the UK, the group managed to raise the commission it charges from 11 per cent to 12 per cent. Mr Buttress said: “That went through smoothly. Out of 22,500 restaurants in this country, only 17 dropped us when we raised commission.”
He said significant year-on-year growth had continued in July, adding that he was confident recent growth momentum could be maintained.