The future of food delivery app Just Eat Takeaway (JET) has been cast into further doubt after management refused to give guidance for 2020 to investors.

‘Given the material impact of the combination with Just Eat on our plans for 2020, we will not provide an outlook’, said the management board of Takeaway.com, the Dutch business that has merged with the UK’s Just Eat.

INVESTORS LEFT IN THE DARK

This leaves analysts and, crucially, investors in the dark about the future prospects of the business.

‘Shareholders would expect the company to know what it’s letting itself in for’, said Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at derivatives trading platform Markets.com.

‘You’d think they understand the impact of the merger on revenues. On that basis, reporting the past numbers are kind of irrelevant’, Wilson added. ‘How do shareholders figure out value,’ Wilson asked rhetorically.

There are currently no forecasts available, according to data from Refinitiv.

HUGE TAKEOVER COSTS

The failure to offer investors a steer on prospects came alongside full year results for the Takeaway.com part of the business for 2019. Those numbers showed the business swinging to a profit, on an earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) basis of €12.3m (approximately £10.3m) after reporting a €11.3m loss in 2018.

But with hefty acquisition, integration and other costs adding up, headline losses soared from €14m to €115.5m.

This was 2019 net revenue that surged 79% to €415.9m, fuelled by growth and its €930m acquisition of Delivery Hero’s German operations in April.

Takeaway.com declared its £6bn takeover of Just Eat unconditional in January, and shares in the merged business began trading in London on 3 February. The company must now wait for a final approval from takeover watchdog the Competition and Markets Authority after it launched an 11th hour probe into the merger.

The CMA’s investigation is due to end by 5 March 2020.

Just Eat Takeaway.com shares fell nearly 3% to £80.30.

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Issue Date: 13 Feb 2020