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Just Eat soars as pandemic boosts demand for takeaways

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just eat soars as pandemic boosts demand for takeaways

Shares in Just Eat raced to a record high as the Covid-19 pandemic boosts demand for takeaways.

As investors welcomed a 46 per cent rise in orders in the third quarter of the year, helped by tie-ups with McDonald’s and Greggs, the food delivery group’s stock rose another 6.4 per cent, or 562p, to 9404p.

That valued Just Eat at £14.1billion, meaning it is worth more than a host of British industrial titans including Rolls-Royce, BT and BA-owner IAG.

Delivering profits: Just Eat's current value is £14.1bn, meaning it is worth more than a host of British industrial titans including Rolls-Royce, BT and BA-owner IAG

Delivering profits: Just Eat’s current value is £14.1bn, meaning it is worth more than a host of British industrial titans including Rolls-Royce, BT and BA-owner IAG

The dramatic changing of the guard on the FTSE 100 index of blue-chip firms underlines how the coronavirus crisis has altered the way millions live.

Just Eat, which joined forces with Dutch rival Takeaway.com earlier this year, has benefited from lockdown restrictions, which have prompted more families to stay in and order food deliveries instead of going out to eat.

The company received 151.5m orders between July and September – up from 103.6m in the same period last year.

The 46 per cent rise in third-quarter orders was even bigger than the 42 per cent increase reported in the second quarter.

Even in the UK, where the Government ran the Eat Out to Help Out scheme in August to encourage families back into restaurants, quarterly orders rose 43 per cent to 46.4m.

And that figure was boosted by the addition of 800 McDonald’s restaurants and 300 Greggs sandwich shops to Just Eat’s online service this year.

But the company, which also operates in Germany, Canada, the Netherlands, Australia, France, Spain and Italy, is battling fierce competition from rivals such as Deliveroo and Uber Eats that have capitalised on the pandemic as well. 

In a bid to expand its reach in the US, it will merge with American rival Grubhub next year after sealing a £5.8billion takeover. 

But it could soon face stiffer competition from a better-funded Deliveroo, which has just had an investment from Amazon cleared by the competition watchdog.

Dan Thomas, an analyst at research group Third Bridge, cautioned that this make Just Eat’s main challenge defending its dominant position in the UK.

‘As Deliveroo and Uber Eats develop and expand their logistics capabilities one could expect a greater level of competition outside of London, where Just Eat enjoys much higher market share,’ he said.

And Russell Pointon, director of consumer and media at research firm Edison Group, said the firm’s takeover of Grubhub could prove to be a ‘double-edged sword’ that could lead to tougher regulatory scrutiny. 

But he added: ‘Domestically, Just Eat’s increased offerings, with Greggs and McDonald’s, is likely to complement further market share attempts.’

Just Eat said it had launched an ‘aggressive expansion programme’ in its main markets, which include the UK, in order to shore up its market position.

Jitse Groen, Just Eat’s boss, said: ‘Order growth further accelerated, widening the gap to competitors in our key markets.

‘We are well-positioned for autumn and winter, our traditional growth season.’

The biggest surge during the third quarter came from Canada, where orders rose 98 per cent – from 11.9m to 23.5m. 

That was followed by Germany at 47 per cent and the UK at 43 per cent. The company said orders for the nine months to the end of September were now up 37 per cent compared with last year, at 408.3m.

Just Eat was started by Danish entrepreneur Jesper Buch and four friends in 2001, but the other four were later bought out by investor Bo Bendtsen and the business was moved to London. 

Buch sold his stake for £3million in 2008 and Bendtsen exited this year, according to Reuters.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Sunak’s bailout package sends budget deficit towards £400bn 

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sunaks bailout package sends budget deficit towards 400bn

Rishi Sunak’s latest bailout package for businesses could push Britain’s annual budget deficit above £400billion, experts warned last night.

Business leaders hailed the generosity of the compensation package, which will support struggling firms hit by Tier Two restrictions.

The Chancellor unveiled changes to the Job Support Scheme, which replaces the Job Retention Scheme when it closes on October 31. 

Handouts: Chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled changes to the Job Support Scheme, which replaces the Job Retention Scheme when it closes on October 31

Handouts: Chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled changes to the Job Support Scheme, which replaces the Job Retention Scheme when it closes on October 31

Under the revised scheme, employers will have to pay a smaller portion of wages of furloughed staff who have returned to work part time. 

Staff will also have to work fewer hours to qualify for support. At the same time, taxpayer subsidies have doubled – with the Government funding 62 per cent of the hours not worked.

And the Chancellor said the Treasury would provide grants for struggling companies in areas under Tier Two restrictions. 

They will be worth up to £2,100 each month and will focus on companies in the hospitality, accommodation and leisure sectors. 

The Treasury refused to provide any guidance on how much the new lifelines will cost. A Whitehall source said it depended on take-up of the scheme.

But it is thought the extra support could cost more than £22billion in total over six months. 

This includes roughly £1billion a month for every 2m people signed up for the scheme. 

The Treasury has previously indicated that between 2m and 5m will be supported by the wage subsidies. 

This suggests it could cost up to £15billion over six months. 

The bailout could push the annual deficit above £400billion, according to Capital Economics, which had predicted government borrowing was already on course to hit £390million even before the latest compensation package was announced.

Paul Dales, its chief UK economist, said: ‘The combination of the darkening of the economic outlook due to the latest Covid-19 restrictions and the Chancellor’s more generous Job Support Scheme mean there is every chance the budget deficit will top £400billion this year.’

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Nationwide to issue credit cards made from recycled plastic

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nationwide to issue credit cards made from recycled plastic

Nationwide is to issue debit and credit cards made from recycled plastic, in a move it estimates will save 35 tonnes of carbon emissions a year.

The building society, which issues 5.4m cards annually, said it is the first major UK bank or building society to take such a step.

Nationwide, which is the UK’s largest building society, has pledged to eliminate single-use plastics by 2025.

Eco-friendly: Nationwide said it is the first major UK bank or building society to issue cards made from recycled plastic

Eco-friendly: Nationwide said it is the first major UK bank or building society to issue cards made from recycled plastic

The cards made from recycled PVC materials will be rolled out from next spring.

They will be issued to current account members first, before being rolled out across Nationwide’s product range. The society said the move is part of a wide focus on sustainability.

Claire Tracey, chief strategy and sustainability officer at Nationwide, said: ‘Our members tell us that, despite the tough times right now, they still want to make the world a greener place.

‘We’ve also set aside £1billion for our members to borrow at a special low interest rate if they want to make their homes greener.’

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Airbnb hires Sir Jony Ive for redesign ahead of a £23bn float

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airbnb hires sir jony ive for redesign ahead of a 23bn float

Airbnb has hired famed former Apple designer Sir Jony Ive to lead a redesign of the company ahead of a £23billion float later this year.

The home rental site has hired Ive’s company, LoveFrom, to revamp its app and website, as well as create new products in a ‘special collaboration’ that will last for several years.

Ive, who is British and was knighted in 2012, was lauded for overseeing the creation of the iPhone. 

Airbnb has hired Sir Jony Ive's company, LoveFrom, to revamp its app and website, as well as create new products in a 'special collaboration' that will last for several years

Airbnb has hired Sir Jony Ive’s company, LoveFrom, to revamp its app and website, as well as create new products in a ‘special collaboration’ that will last for several years

The 53-year-old was a close colleague of Apple founder Steve Jobs and was head of the company’s design from the 1990s until June 2019, and Apple is one of LoveFrom’s major clients.

Airbnb has rebounded from the Covid pandemic, which at its peak wiped out 80 per cent of its bookings. 

It cut a quarter of its workforce, raised £1.5billion of debt and cancelled all marketing in a bid to stay afloat.

Since June, analysts believe bookings in some areas have surpassed 2019 levels.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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