Takeaway.com says orders had only temporarily decline in March

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Just Eat Takeaway, Europe’s largest online food ordering and delivery company, said on Thursday that orders temporarily declined in March as restaurants closed as part of measures imposed by governments to contain the coronavirus.

But order volumes recovered strongly 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.

In its main markets, average order volumes have since increased markedly although they are expected to return to normal levels after the crisis, the company said.

“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.”

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

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source: reuters.com