In a quarter in which the number of orders fell faster than ever, meal delivery company Just Eat Takeaway.com (JET) managed to give investors what they’ve been asking for for so long: profit. After roughly a year and a half of red figures, the adjusted operating result was positive again in recent months, the parent company of Thuisbezorgd.nl announced on Wednesday. In the first half of the year, JET still achieved a negative operating result of 134 million. The rapid turnaround was “not easy,” said CEO Jitse Groen in a telephone explanation for journalists. Groen expects that his company will also be profitable in the fourth quarter, and that JET can continue that trend into next year. The food delivery company, he said, began “making changes to become profitable” last August. JET is not currently hiring staff for its headquarters and is trying to be “more efficient” with advertising spend. boost Improved profitability is also due to higher rates: in the early months of this year, JET increased its meal delivery charges in many of its markets. Yet it is not even that those rates are much higher, Groen explained. “What we’ve mainly changed is that when you order from the other side of town, you pay more than when you order close to home.” The profit figure is a boost for JET, which is going through a difficult period. In the first corona year, the second largest meal delivery company in the world had an exceptionally successful period by all home orderers, but since then JET has struggled to follow up on those figures. While the company was used to growing by tens of percentages per year, previous quarters had contracted for the first time. This led to annoyance among shareholders, who saw about 80 percent of their investment evaporate in two years. A number of them therefore wanted Groen to focus more on profitability, which for a long time had been subordinate to growth for the meal delivery service. Also Read: Fewer Orders, Fewer Users – Yet JET Not Worried About Inflation However, profitability does not mean that there is also money left at the bottom. The adjusted operating result does not include many one-off or widely fluctuating costs, such as acquisition costs, sales proceeds, write-downs, reorganization expenses and the salary of hired lawyers. As a result, the figure can deviate significantly from the net profit, as was already apparent in August. At that time, JET presented a net loss of 3.5 billion for the first half of 2022. No luxury Founder and CEO Groen had not only good news for investors on Wednesday. It also turned out that the number of orders last quarter was 11 percent lower than a year earlier. This means that JET has been contracting for three quarters in a row. Competitors also suffer from this. According to them, the high inflation is the cause: if the consumer has to cut back, a home-delivered meal is an expense that you can easily cancel. Groen does not believe in that, he said on Wednesday. He sees “not really the consequences” of inflation in the figures. According to him, customers order slightly less frequently than during the pandemic, but still much more often than before. The JET CEO repeated what he already said in August: that the delivery meal is not a luxury expenditure in his eyes. “It’s not like you’re talking about a car.” A version of this article also appeared in the newspaper of October 20, 2022