Deliveroo sees weaker UK trading as consumer spending remains ‘uncertain’

18 April 2024, 08:24

A Deliveroo rider
Deliveroo financials. Picture: PA

The group said UK and Ireland order numbers remained flat in the first quarter.

Takeaway giant Deliveroo has revealed weaker trading across the UK and Ireland at the start of the year against an “uncertain” consumer backdrop.

The group said UK and Ireland order numbers remained flat in the first quarter at 39.7 million, having risen by 1% in the previous three months.

Sales by gross transaction value (GTV) – a key measure for the sector – rose by 6% across the region, down from growth of 7% in the fourth quarter of 2023.

Founder and chief executive Will Shu said the UK and Ireland consumer environment “remains stable but uncertain”.

Overall, Deliveroo said it returned to growth in order numbers group-wide in the first quarter, with a 2% increase against a 3% fall over 2023 as a whole.

Group GTV also lifted 6% on a constant currency basis, up from 4% growth in the previous three months, thanks to a better performance across France, the United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong.

This helped wider group revenues lift 2% on a constant currency basis to £514 million in the first quarter.

Mr Shu said: “The team has been relentlessly focused on delivering service and value for money, helping drive a return to order growth and continued growth in GTV.”

The sector has been under pressure as customer demand for takeaways has pulled back sharply since the height of the pandemic, when hospitality closures due to Covid restrictions drove booming business.

On Wednesday, Deliveroo rival Just Eat revealed a worse-than-expected 6% fall in first-quarter sales.

But it saw a more resilient performance in the UK and Ireland, with order numbers returning to growth after seven consecutive quarters of decline.

In March, Deliveroo group posted a loss of £31.8 million for 2023, significantly smaller than the £294.1 million loss reported for 2022.

It said the number of orders decreased by 3% year on year to 290 million, but saw higher food prices help drive up average takeaway spending.

Mr Shu told the PA news agency on posting last month’s full-year figures that the “weight of inflation” was starting to reduce.

He said this would be a “positive” for the group after consumer spending on takeaways was squeezed last year due to the cost-of-living crisis.

But the business, which operates in 10 countries and works with more than 140,000 riders across the world, has seen delivery riders go on strike in recent months over pay and working conditions.

By Press Association