A Deliveroo rider’s bike near Victoria station on March 31, 2021 in London, England.

Dan Kitwood | Getty Images

LONDON — Deliveroo doubled orders in the first half of 2021, as appetite for food delivery services held up even as coronavirus restrictions eased.

The British food delivery company reported orders of 148.8 million in the six months to June 30, up from 74.5 million in the same period a year ago.

The total value of transactions on Deliveroo’s platform doubled to £3.4 billion, while revenues climbed 82% to £922.5 million ($1.3 billion).

Meanwhile, Deliveroo also narrowed its losses. The firm posted a pre-tax loss of £104.8 million in the first half, down from the £128.4 million it lost in the first six months of 2020.

Will Shu, Deliveroo’s CEO, said on a call with analysts that the company had seen “no material impact” from the lifting of the U.K.’s Covid-19 lockdown.

The business experienced a “small to moderate” impact from the reopening in France and Italy but this coincided with shifting demand as a result of “seasonality,” Shu said. He added the company saw “accelerated growth” in the Middle East and Asia.

It’s the first time Deliveroo has reported results since its disastrous initial public offering in March.

The company fell as much as 30% in its first day of trading, as investors worried about the sustainability of its business model and concerns over the gig economy, in which Deliveroo is a major player.

Deliveroo shares fell 4% Wednesday.

“Investors appeared to have lost a little appetite for shares in early trading, with the company expecting customer behaviour to moderate later in the year,” said Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown.

“The pandemic has clearly offered a structural growth opportunity for Deliveroo, but the longer-term outlook depends on how demand holds up in a post-pandemic world, and if that road to profitability looks any clearer.”

Still, the stock is up around 4% so far this week, boosted by news that German rival Delivery Hero has bought a 5.1% stake in the firm.

Niklas Östberg, Delivery Hero’s co-founder and CEO, said his company felt Deliveroo was “undervalued” after being “oversold” in its IPO.

Europe’s food delivery companies are under growing pressure to consolidate as the competition intensifies. The rise of on-demand grocery delivery start-ups like Getir and Gorillas has put incumbent players on edge.

Last week, Estonian ride-hailing firm Bolt said it planned to push into the online grocery delivery industry after raising 600 million euros ($702.8 million) of fresh funds from investors.

Deliveroo is also investing heavily in grocery. The company said Wednesday that its gross margin fell to 7.8% in the first half from 8.8% a year earlier as it ramped up spending on grocery delivery.

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