AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Just Eat Takeaway shares jumped 10% on Thursday morning, as Europe’s largest online food ordering and delivery company said orders had recovered strongly from a dip in March when many countries closed restaurants to fight the coronavirus.
Takeaway said order volumes had bounced back by the end of March, including in its main markets in the Netherlands, Germany and Poland. In the Netherlands, around 2,000 new restaurants signed up for its services after the government ordered restaurants to close to the public.
“Takeaway.com is one of the few, and privileged, companies that has only modestly been affected by the crisis”, Chief Executive Jitse Groen said in a statement.
“The most notable effect on our figures has been, what we now believe to be, a temporary impact on our March orders.”
Takeaway’s shares traded up 10.3% at 0815 GMT in Amsterdam, making them by far the biggest gainer in the blue chip AEX-index.
“We believe some softness was largely expected from the early stages of COVID-19, but we see the expectation that things are now back at ‘normal’ levels as thoroughly encouraging,” Credit Suisse analysts said in a note.
ORDERS MAINLY DECLINED AT SCOOBER
Orders declined mostly at Takeaway’s own delivery service Scoober in March, as this unit caters to restaurants which are primarily focused on dine-in customers.
Many of these restaurants throughout Europe, including all Dutch and German ones, were forced to close in March, while restaurants focused on home delivery could often continue their services.
Takeaway said Scoober represented around 7% of its total orders in the first quarter.
Order volumes in the Netherlands increased by 11% in the first quarter. Takeaway said last month it would grant a delay in payments for Dutch restaurants on its platform that have been hurt by fallout from the global coronavirus outbreak.
Total orders for the group jumped 50% in the first three months of 2020, fuelled by the acquisition of Delivery Hero’s German operations in April last year.
Takeaway.com acquired the operations of its UK-based competitor Just Eat in January, although British competition regulators are still reviewing the deal and the companies are being operated separately pending final approval.
Reporting by Bart Meijer; Editing by Edwina Gibbs and Peter Graff