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Mon 21st Oct 2019 - Update: Just Eat, PizzaExpress
Just Eat reports revenue growth of 25% in most recent three months: Just Eat has reported revenue growth of 25% to £247.5m in the three months to 30 September. Revenue growth in the first nine months of the company’s financial year has been 8%, taking total sales to £717.8m. The company stated: “UK orders increased by 8% to 33 million, driven by rapid growth in our delivery proposition, which is now present in all key zones, offset by slower growth in our marketplace business, on the back of a broadly softer consumer spending backdrop and changing consumer preferences. In Canada, SkipTheDishes continued its very strong double-digit growth. European order growth was good, with ongoing strong performance seen in Italy and Switzerland and new brand partnerships forged in Spain. Our Australian business remained on its recovery path, with improving momentum during the period resulting in double digit-order growth. iFood continued its exceptional growth during the quarter with over 21 million orders made in September. The board  remains confident in the current performance of the group and is reconfirming its guidance for full year 2019 revenue in the range of £1.0 billion to £1.1 billion and uEbitda in the range of £185 million to £205 million (both excluding Brazil and Mexico). As noted at the time of our H1 results, uEbitda includes the negative impact of recent acquisitions, which is still expected to be £10-12 million. The board  also continues to expect Just Eat’s share of its Latin American operations (being Brazil and Mexico together) to report an uEbitda loss in the range of £80 million to £100 million for full year 2019. On August 5 2019, Just Eat and Takeaway.com announced a recommended all-share combination, which will create one of the largest food delivery companies in the world, with scale, strategic vision, industry-leading capabilities, leading positions in attractive markets and a diversified geographic presence. It is currently expected that the company’s shareholder circular will be published by the end of October, with the General Meeting held in December 2019. Subject to satisfaction of conditions, including shareholder approvals, completion of the transaction is expected around year end.” Peter Duffy, interim chief executive of Just Eat, said: “We are seeing strong growth in many of our markets, including Canada, Europe and pleasingly Australia, where we are starting to reap the benefits of our turnaround plan. Our UK marketplace business is a strong and clear leader; however, we are seeing a structural shift, with increasing demand on our platform from customers for broader cuisine choice and more meal occasions, led by quick service restaurant chains. The strong growth in our UK delivery business shows that we can successfully meet these needs. The winning platform for food delivery will offer customers the broadest range, underlining the importance of our move to the hybrid business model and continuing investments in key markets. We remain on track to deliver our full year 2019 revenue and uEbitda guidance.” 

Hedge funds circle PizzaExpress: A hedge fund that shared a multi-billion pound profit after buying Lehman Brothers loans is among those circling PizzaExpress, the Daily Telegraph has reported. The newspaper stated: “CarVal, one of a handful of money managers that made big bets on the collapsed Wall Street investment bank, has bought into PizzaExpress’ heavily discounted corporate bonds. Other investors include Cyrus Capital, the Wall Street fund that has invested in airlines alongside Sir Richard Branson, and distressed debt specialist HIG Bayside, sources said. PizzaExpress is struggling to repay £1.1bn of loans amid spiralling losses. Some £665m of the debt mountain is formed of corporate bonds, which must be repaid starting in 2021.”

Less than three weeks to go until Casual Dining Summit, open for bookings: There are less than three weeks to go until the Casual Dining Summit, in which some of the sector’s leading operators – big and small, new and established – will share expertise and insights into how they are seeking to win in one of the toughest trading environments ever experienced. The full-day event takes place on Friday, 8 November at One Moorgate Place in London and is open for bookings. The event will see a wide spectrum of company leaders and entrepreneurs from across the industry talk about the strategies they have put in place to make sure their businesses have been able to survive, thrive, evolve or pivot. Speakers will include YO! chief executive Richard Hodgson; Tom Molnar, founder of Gail’s; Shereen Ritchie, UK managing director of Leon; Byron chief executive Simon Wilkinson, Giggling Squid co-founder Andy Laurillard; Red’s True Barbecue co-founder James Douglas; Brasserie Bar Co chairman Mark Derry. Prue Freeman, founder of fledgling group Daisy Green; Phil Eeles, co-founder of Honest Burgers; and The NPD Group insights director Dominic Allport. There will also be a panel session featuring Thom Elliot, co-founder of Pizza Pilgrims, Dan Houghton, co-founder of Chilango, and Gavin Adair, managing director of Rosa’s Thai, who will explore the benefits and challenges that come with offering a delivery option, its impact on business models, staff and expansion opportunities. Tickets are £295 plus VAT for Propel Premium subscribers and £345 plus VAT for all others. To book, email anne.steele@propelinfo.com or call 01444 817691.

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