Annual turnover grew 610%

Deliveroo lost £129 million last year, more than it generated in sales, as the food delivery service saw its soaring revenues wiped out by the enormous costs involved in logistics, promotion and international expansion (The Times) The paper reported that annual turnover at the company grew by 610 per cent from £18.1 million in 2015 to £128.6 million last year according to its latest accounts. However, the cost of delivering food to customers was £127.5 million, resulting in a gross profit of only £1.1 million — a margin of less than 0.9 per cent. Administrative expenses, including the cost of promoting the service, ballooned from £28.8 million in 2015 to £142.2 million. Pre-tax losses widened by 330 per cent, from £30.1 million in 2015 to £129.1 million last year, according to accounts for Deliveroo’s holding company, Roofoods.

The achievements of Richard Cousins are profiled in The Mail after he confirmed yesterday that he is standing down after presiding over a surge in its share price during his 11 years at the helm. It says that when the cricket-lover took the top job, the catering firm was flirting with disaster after an over-zealous expansion. He cut the number of countries it operated in from 100 to 50 and laid the basis for solid growth, which was uninterrupted even by the financial crisis. It is now the world’s biggest caterer and serves 5billion meals a year. He hands over to European chief operating officer Dominic Blakemore in March and leaves next September.

The strong results reported by the Co-op yesterday are also well covered this morning. The retailer said it is holding its own in the convenience stores sector, despite ever “fiercer” competition and a continued squeeze on consumer spending. (Evening Standard) In half-year results, the group’s food division recorded its 14th consecutive quarter of same-store sales growth, with operating profits up 22% to £77 million. But industry data this week showed slowing sales.

There could be bad news for Uber today according to Sky News which is reporting that regulators are set‎ to deliver a crucial ruling that could trigger the removal of tens of thousands of private-hire drivers from London’s streets. The ruling could also have ramifications on its plans to grow its share of the food delivery market. Sky has learnt that Transport for London (TfL‎)‎ could announce as soon as Friday whether it is handing the world’s biggest ride-hailing app a new five-year operating licence. The broadcaster suggests sources close to the decision said there were ‎growing expectations that the capital’s transport body would curtail or reject altogether Uber’s application for a new licence.