Food delivery app Deliveroo nearly halves losses

Deliveroo, the international food delivery app, reported Thursday that net losses almost halved in the first six months of the year on cost-cutting and higher revenues.

Losses after tax dropped 46 percent to £83 million ($106 million) compared with the first half of last year, the London-headquartered group said in a statement.

Revenue grew five percent to £1 billion as inflated food prices offset falling orders amid a cost-of-living crisis and controversy over treatment of riders.

“We have delivered a strong financial performance despite challenging macroeconomic conditions,” said chief executive Will Shu, who founded the company a decade ago.

Deliveroo said it would return £250 million to investors, helping its share price to rise more than three percent in early London trading.

It earlier this year cut about 350 jobs, or nearly one-tenth of its non-rider workforce.

The group, which experienced surging demand during the Covid pandemic from lockdown-hit customers, has tens of thousands of self-employed riders — a status that continues to cause controversy.

In June, the European Union backed plans that could force Deliveroo and other gig-economy companies like Uber to treat workers as employees, boosting their labour rights.

“We continue to see strong rider application pipelines and rider retention rates,” Deliveroo said in Thursday’s earnings statement.

“However, we have actively managed our rider fleet size by onboarding fewer new riders in the period to reflect the impact of macroeconomic conditions on order volumes.” — Agence France-Presse

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