The share price rebound at takeaway ordering system Just Eat (JE.) is continuing after the £2.6 billion cap reports a 58% rise in revenue to £247.6 million in 2015, driven by a 65% increase in the number of active users to 13.4 million.
Trading 6.3% higher at 409.9p, Just Eat is winning back investors who had shied away from the stock at the start of the year due to concerns around fierce market competition from the likes of Hungry House.
Pre-tax profit is down 40% to £34.6 million as a result of a £38.2 million one-off gain in 2014, arising from a control change in its French and Brazilian businesses.
Underlying EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) is up 83% to £59.7 million and the group expects this to increase to between £98 million and £100 million in 2016 on revenue of £350 million.
‘Just Eat is in a very strong position both operationally and financially, and we are again able to increase our forecasts compared with market consensus,’ says chief executive David Buttress.
Peel Hunt has increased its rating from Hold to Buy, saying the margin performance in the UK is materially better than expected. UK EBITDA growth of 69% to £77.6 million represented a margin of 45.8% compared with the analyst’s forecast of 42.2%.
‘This appears to be long-term fundamental as opposed to a short-term boost,’ says Peel Hunt analyst Nick Batram. ‘There is a lot of noise around the delivery market and whilst there are risks, we believe these have been overplayed in the short-term.’
The bullish results are another boon for Just Eat, which surged 10% on 5 February when it announced it was buying four rival takeaway businesses in Spain, Italy, Brazil and Mexico. This followed its acquisition of Australia-based Menulog in May 2015.
The stock is still trading 17% below its 2015 year-end peak of 494p.