Food delivery service Just Eat as reported a surge in sales and earnings after the coronavirus outbreak spurred demand.

The group-level increases were reflected in performance in the UK, where Just Eat works with food retailers such as Greggs as well as restaurants.

Just Eat said that in the UK it received 77 million orders in the first six months of this year, a rise of 18% versus the comparable period last year as its marketplace and delivery arms generated “strong growth”.

Gross merchandise value advanced 28% year on year to €1.77bn (£1.59bn), “driven by higher average order values during coronavirus lockdown periods”. Revenue in the UK was up 28% to €303m (£273m) in the first half.

Gross profit increased by 22% to €222m (£200m) in the period, during which Just Eat launched partnerships with McDonald’s and Greggs.

However, gross margin declined to 73% from 77% , “mainly caused by continuous investments in delivery”.

Adjusted EBITDA in the UK increased 46% to €127m (£114m).

At group level, sales rose 44% to €1bn (£900m) and adjusted EBITDA increased 133% to €177m (£159m). The business made a loss in the half-year of €158m (£142m) – up from €27m (£24m), which was “mainly driven by amortisation, advisory, transaction and integration-related expenses connected to the combination of Just Eat and and the proposed transaction with Grubhub”.