Online takeaway food ordering system Just Eat (JE.) jumps 9.8% (21.45p) higher to 241p as excellent maiden interims confirm key metrics surging ahead and foster forecast upgrades. The FTSE 250 firm also flags a strong start to the second half, having generated 'significant' year-on-year growth in July.

Guided by CEO David Buttress (pictured above), the world's biggest online and mobile marketplace for takeaways connects some 6.9 million hungry active users with a convenient way to order from more than 40,000 takeaway restaurants spanning 13 countries.

Web chart - Just Eat - Aug 14

Making money on commissions charged to restaurants on the value of orders, the London-based company needed to deliver tasty-looking growth metrics today, having raised £100 million of new money at 260p per share in April. Priced at the top of the range amid strong investor demand, the staring valuation looked punchy, as Shares explains here.

Reassuringly, the first-half numbers are stronger-than-expected and bring the group's structural growth story back in focus. Just Eat is tapping into the nation's healthy appetite for takeaways as well as proliferation of orders on mobile devices and tablets.

Over the six months to June, sales burgeoned 58% higher to £69.8 million, mainly driven by the core UK market but with helping hands from nations including Denmark, Canada, Spain and Ireland. Underlying EBITDA – before exceptional IPO costs and other charges - rocketed up from £2.3 million to £15.9 million, growth approaching 600% from the operationally-geared business.

Orders were up 50% to 27.5 million, smashing J.P. Morgan Cazenove's estimates with rising average revenue per order (ARPO), while Buttress also reports growth in the contracted takeaway restaurant base and in active users, hungry punters that have placed at least one order in the past year. Significantly, orders taken over apps or mobile devices now represent more than half of total orders for the first time. All of which drives a healthy jump in operating cashflow to £15.4 million (2013: £8.7 million).

Just Eat flags 'significant year-on-year growth' in July and is 'confident that this momentum will be maintained'. Whilst investing in technology and marketing, acquisitions are on the menu too. Just Eat has recently gobbled up EPOS-technology business Meal2Go, London-based collection app Orogo and stepped up its presence in the French online takeaway market by upping its stake in from 50% to 80%.

Issue Date: 12 Aug 2014