Just Eat Takeaway.com | Annual figures

Further growth - but still below expectations

The Lieferando parent gives annual key figures for 2021.
IMAGO / Michael Gstettenbauer
The Lieferando parent gives annual key figures for 2021.

German delivery market leader Lieferando placed orders worth nearly 4 billion euros in 2021, according to a trading update from parent company Just Eat Takeaway.com. But for some investors, that's not enough.

Overall, Lieferando parent Just Eat Takeaway.com did not grow as strongly in the fourth quarter as it has recently. It said the number of orders in the fourth quarter rose 14 percent year-on-year to just under 274 million. Experts had expected a stronger increase.

More than 1 billion orders in 2021

In the third quarter, Just Eat Takeaway had still been able to increase the number of orders by a quarter. For the year as a whole, the number of orders increased by a third to around 1.1 billion. The group's two fastest-growing markets in 2021 are the UK (273.7 million orders, +53% y/y) and Germany (159.7 million, +42%).

The acquisition of the U.S. delivery service Grubhub (completed in June 2021) moves the German brand Lieferando into third place within the Group in terms of order volume, behind the UK and U.S. markets. The latter shows 173.5 million orders in 2021, but rather low growth of 15 percent. For better comparability, Just Eat Takeaway.com reports the figures for the acquisitions/mergers of Just Eat (UK) and Grubhub (USA) as if they had been completed in January 2021.

Orders with own logistics rise strongly

Already a trend in recent quarters, the volume of deliveries made with the company's own fleet of drivers is rising disproportionately compared to total orders. Here, too, the UK is the growth driver. The number of orders in the segment rose from 27.2 million in 2020 to 111 million in 2021, an increase of more than 300 percent. This means the company is delivering a good 40 percent of its total orders in the UK with its own drivers. In other markets, such as Canada, that share is even higher at 96 percent.

In Germany, the number of deliveries with the company's own drivers, known as scoober, also continued to rise, with an increase of 70 percent. Compared with total orders, the share of scoober orders remains stable at a comparatively low level of just under eight percent. Delivery with own drivers is considered significantly more costly and less profitable for Just Eat Takeaway.com compared to pure order brokering, where the restaurant delivers itself. For restaurateurs, the commission of about 30 percent they have to pay to Just eat Takeaway.com when they use their drivers is significantly higher. If they deliver themselves, the commission averages 13 percent.

Brokered sales at the lower end of expectations

The value of orders rose 31 percent to 28.2 billion euros in 2021, at the lower end of the company's own forecast of 28 billion to 30 billion euros. Looking at profits, Just Eat Takeaway only said that its operating margin last year was in the middle of the range it had recently forecast. Based on earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (Ebitda) adjusted for special items, the company had forecast a margin of minus 1.5 to minus 1.0 percent based on transaction volume.

Based on the published data, this results in a loss before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (Ebitda) of around 350 million euros, adjusted for special effects, after a profit of around 250 million euros. The company reiterated its guidance for 2022 and beyond. According to this, transaction volumes should increase by a mid-double-digit percentage in the current year, with margins improving to minus 0.8 to minus 0.6 percent. The operating loss should peak in 2021. The company plans to present detailed figures for the past year on March 2.