LONDON (AFP) – Deliveroo, the international delivery food app, announced on Wednesday a big increase in losses as investment costs ate into rising revenues, adding it planned to exit its struggling Dutch market.

Loss after tax jumped 41 per cent to £153.8 million (S$256.15 million) compared with the first six months of last year, the British group said in a statement.

Revenue grew 12 per cent to £1 billion despite easing Covid-19 curbs and controversy over treatment of its riders.

Deliveroo said the outlook was clouded by strong inflation and the Ukraine war.

However, company founder and chief executive Will Shu expressed confidence in the company’s ability “to adapt financially to any further changes in the macroeconomic environment”.

Deliveroo said it “proposes to consult on ending its operations in the Netherlands”, noting it did “not hold a strong local position” in the country.

The company added that it “would require a disproportionate level of investment, with uncertain returns, to reach and sustain a top-tier market position”.

A planned exit from the Netherlands towards the end of November follows Deliveroo’s departure from Spain last year, although the group on Wednesday said it had gained market share in the UK and Italy.

It added that overall marketing and other investment costs, including spend on technology, jumped 29 per cent to almost £369 million in the first half.

Deliveroo has enjoyed strong sales growth in a short space of time but faces questions over its sustainability, highlighted by its failed stock market debut which took place in London last year.

Its initial public offering was the capital’s biggest stock market launch for a decade, valuing the group at £7.6 billion.

But its share price tumbled on launch day by almost a third from the IPO price of £3.90 as investors questioned Deliveroo’s treatment of its self-employed riders.

A French court of appeal last month found Deliveroo guilty of “undeclared work” for classifying a courier as an independent contractor instead of an employee.