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Technology

Just Eat Takeaway Lifts 2023 Core Profit Outlook

By Reuters
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Just Eat Takeaway Lifts 2023 Core Profit Outlook

Just Eat Takeaway.com has raised its annual core profit forecast, after Europe's biggest meal delivery company returned to growth in Britain, Ireland and Northern Europe.

Following a boom in food deliveries during the pandemic, the sector is seeking to transition to a rational profitability model, even as firms invest more in marketing to avert a churn in customers.

'Increased Profitability'

"Within the UK and Ireland we continue to invest significantly whilst at the same time increasing profitability," CEO Jitse Groen said in a statement.

Just Eat reported 6% growth in Northern European gross transaction value (GTV), and a 4% increase in Britain and Ireland. However, it posted an 11% drop in North America.

It expects GTV, a common metric for e-commerce firms, to decline about 4% this year, at the low end of its previous range of between -4% to +2%.

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"Although the recovery of North America is on a slower trajectory, we are satisfied that this segment too is rapidly becoming cash flow neutral," Groen said.

Free Cash Flow

The company expects to break even on free cash flow in the second half of 2023, earlier than its previous mid-2024 target.

The group said it was still exploring a partial or full sale of its US unit, Grubhub, though there was no certainty a deal would happen.

Just Eat forecast adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of about €310 million for 2023, up from a previous guidance of about €275 million.

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"A strong message on profits and cash no doubt - but investors are likely to wait for further top line growth acceleration before returning to the name," JPMorgan analyst Marcus Diebel said in a note.

The company also announced a new share buyback programme of up to €150 million.

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