Delivery Hero replaces Wirecard in Germany′s blue-chip DAX | Business | Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 20.08.2020

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Delivery Hero replaces Wirecard in Germany's blue-chip DAX

As scandal-ridden payment services company Wirecard drops out of the DAX-30 index, it's being replaced by Berlin-based Delivery Hero. The food delivery company is active in over 40 countries around the globe.

Delivery Hero is the second Berlin-based company to make it into the DAX-30, Germany's premier stock index, following the rise of real estate behemoth Deutsche Wohnen.

Yet many have been asking lately whether Delivery Hero is still a German company at all. While founded in Germany, consumers there do not profit from the food delivery service anymore, as it doesn't offer its services in Europe's biggest economy. Instead, it's active in more than 40 countries abroad, delivering food from local suppliers to customers there.

Stock market pundits were a bit puzzled when Delivery Hero was short-listed for the DAX. In 2019, management sold the whole Germany business to its Dutch rival, Takeaway.

The latter incorporated the brands Pizza.de, Lieferheld and Foodora in its own delivery platform, Lieferando, and has since dominated the German market.

Delivery Hero in crucial sale

Delivery Hero pocketed almost €1 billion ($1.18 billion) from the sale and keeps investing heavily in markets in the Middle East and North Africa. Last year, more than half of the company's overall revenues came from those two regions.

The delivery platform also has a strong footing in Asia, while in Europe it's almost exclusively active in Northern and Eastern European nations. CEO Niklas Östberg argues that Western European countries are not promising enough in terms of growth potential.

Delivery Hero logo

Delivery Hero has seen its revenues rise considerably in the past few years, but the firm still has some work to do to become profitable

Swedish national Östberg was among the company's founding members when Delivery Hero came into being in 2011. On its platform, the firm brokers deals between restaurants and their customers. It earns most of its money by getting commissions from these restaurants for the deals made, with the restaurants in question hoping to expand their reach and become known to a wider public.

In addition, Delivery Hero runs its own delivery services and commercial kitchens.

Thank you, coronavirus!

In 2017 the company went public and was listed in Germany's MDax, considered second to the DAX. Since then, the share price has gone from strength to strength. While investors had to pay €25.50 per share after the firm's listing, they now have to shell out four times as much. Market capitalization currently stands at roughly €20 billion.

This puts the firm in the 23rd position in the list of German companies ranked by market capitalization. It's higher up in that list than its biggest contender for DAX entry, Symrise, a major producer of flavors and fragrances. Also, Delivery Hero's shares have been traded more actively than Symrise's, helping the delivery firm to make the cut in the end.

Delivery Hero expects to clock revenues between €2.6 billion and €2.8 billion this year thanks to the coronavirus crisis. With many people staying at home, orders doubled in June, helping the firm boost its share price after an initial slump right after the onset of the pandemic.

Food delivery platform still not profitable

Since its founding, the former startup has acquired several firms completely and bought into others. Last year, Delivery Hero's 16,600 employees achieved a turnover of some €790 million, while pre-tax losses came in at €142 million.

The 2019 bottom line looked impressive at first glance due to a one-off effect — the sale of its Germany operations — but Delivery Hero's operative business was still in the red. Chief Financial Officer Emmanuel Thomassin said at the latest annual shareholder meeting that there was no way of knowing right now when the company would eventually become profitable.

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