Deliveroo's full-year loss deepens on expansion spend

(Reuters) - British online food delivery company Deliveroo said on Monday that its full-year revenue more than doubled but its pre-tax loss widened after it invested a further 100 million pounds to expand into new markets.

A food delivery cyclist carries a Deliveroo bag in Nice, France, June 5, 2018. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

The company’s 15,000 drivers have become a familiar sight in Britain since 2013, tapping into the rapidly growing demand for takeaway food from restaurants, while having expanded into other countries, with new markets due soon.

Pre-tax losses in the financial year ended Dec. 31 2017 increased to 184.7 million pounds ($240.89 million) from 129.1 million pounds in 2016, while revenue rose to 277 million pounds in 2017 from 128.5 million pounds.

The company said its gross profit rose 64.3 million pounds from 1.1 million pounds last year, with gross margin rising 23 percent from less than 1 percent, helped by growing maturity in existing markets, improved services and growing order volumes.

Deliveroo, which will be moving into Taiwan, its 13th market, in coming weeks, expects to move into more new markets in coming months.

The company said on Monday it was now working with 50,000 restaurants and 50,000 riders across the world.

Bloomberg reported last month that ride-hailing company Uber Technologies Inc UBER.UL was in early talks to buy Deliveroo, citing sources. Inc AMZN.O also made two preliminary approaches for Deliveroo, the latest one about nine months ago, the Telegraph reported last month.

London-based Deliveroo was last year valued at more than $2 billion after raising nearly $500 million from private investors.

Deliveroo, which competes with companies such as Just Eat JE.L, said in June that an initial public offering is not off the cards but was not in a hurry.

Reporting by Justin George Varghese in Bengaluru; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise