Thousands of jobs are to be created in the UK by food delivery giant Just Eat, its boss had told Sky News.
Speaking to the Ian King Live programme, chief executive Jitse Groen said the firm was going to invest “tens of millions of pounds” in Britain as the company reported a 44% surge in revenue to €1bn in the first half of the year, driven by the coronavirus lockdown.
Mr Groen said with people stuck at home due to the COVID-19 restrictions, it was “quite logical” there would be an increase in business.
The promise of employment will be welcome coming against a gloomy economic backdrop with confirmation the UK had dived into its largest recession on record and figures showing 730,000 jobs had been lost since lockdown began.
Just Eat saw orders soar by 32% to around 257 million in the first six months of the year as takeaway outlets experienced a spike in demand with restaurants closed.
The number of active customers increased from 44 million to 54 million compared with the same time last year, it said.
“Just Eat Takeaway.com is in the fortunate position to benefit from continuing tailwinds,” Mr Groen said.
“On the back of the current momentum, we started an aggressive investment programme, which we believe will further strengthen our market positions.
“We are convinced that our order growth will remain strong for the remainder of the year.”
He told Sky News: “We are going to invest tens of millions of pounds in the UK.
“There’s going to be a significant push from our side.”
Asked about plans to hire staff, he said: “A lot, thousands of people.”
The half-year results were the first since the £6bn merger of the UK’s Just Eat and the Dutch firm Takeaway.com was approved by the Competition and Markets Authority.
The group is also in the process of buying US-based Grubhub for $7.3bn (£5.6bn).
The deal is set to make the company one of the biggest delivery firms in the world outside China.
The firm said its like-for-like pre-tax loss for the period was €121m (£109m), which has been attributed to expenses linked to the merger and planned takeover.
Meanwhile, Marks & Spencer has announced it is to open a new national distribution centre next month creating 360 jobs.
The 365,000 sq ft facility in Milton Keynes forms part of a far-reaching overhaul of the business.
M&S Food managing director Stuart Machin said: “Many of our customers’ shopping habits have changed over recent months and our new distribution centre will enable us to respond faster and more flexibly to customer demand, providing greater product availability and significantly improving the service we provide our customers.”