April 26, 2018 / 7:03 AM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Delivery Hero loss widens on higher marketing expenses

(Adds details)

April 26 (Reuters) - Delivery Hero, the German online food delivery platform, posted a wider 2017 loss on Thursday as a result of a near 50 percent rise in its marketing expenses.

The online takeaway business has boomed in recent years, prompting firms like Delivery Hero, Takeaway.com and Just Eat to spend heavily on marketing to gain greater market share, while also trying to fend off competition from U.S. competitors such as Amazon and Uber.

For 2017, Delivery Hero reported negative adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of 94.2 million euros ($115 million), which compared with compared with a loss of 71.2 million euros a year ago.

The company said its marketing expenses rose by 47 percent to 327.1 million euros.

The world’s biggest food delivery platform, covering more than 40 countries, said it expects to breakeven on an adjusted EBITDA basis on a monthly level by the end of 2018. It also kept its target of positive adjusted EBITDA in 2019.

In February, Delivery Hero reported a 60 percent increase in 2017 sales on a like-for-like basis to 544 million euros, with growth particularly strong in the Middle East and North Africa.

Delivery Hero, Takeaway.com and Just Eat have built their businesses by creating booking platforms that advertise local restaurants, which handle their own deliveries. ($1 = 0.8214 euros) (Reporting by Sylwia Lasek and Thyagaraju Adinarayan in Gdynia; Editing by Vyas Mohan and Alexander Smith)

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