GrubHub profit, revenue beat as it expands into new markets

May 1 (Reuters) - GrubHub Inc reported a faster-than-expected rise in first-quarter profit and revenue on Tuesday, as the online food delivery company’s acquisitions and its own growth raised diner numbers by 72 percent.

The company also forecast revenue in a range of $228 million to $236 million for the current quarter, compared to analysts’ estimate of $229.3 million.

U.S.-based GrubHub has gobbled up a handful of smaller players in a highly competitive food delivery market over the past year, buying Yelp Inc’s food delivery platform Eat24, Foodler Inc and OrderUp.

The company said it had 15.1 million active diners in the quarter ended March 31, roughly in line with analysts’ average estimate of 15.06 million diners, according to data and analytics firm FactSet.

Chicago-based GrubHub defines active diners as the number of unique customer accounts from which an order has been placed in the past 12 months.

GrubHub’s net income attributable to common stockholders rose to $30.8 million, or 34 cents per share, in the first quarter ended March 31, from $17.7 million, or 20 cents per share, a year earlier.

Total revenue rose 49 percent to $232.6 million.

Excluding items, the company earned 52 cents per share.

Analysts on average had expected the company to earn 38 cents per share and a revenue of $229.3 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. (Reporting by Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)