Waitr posts fourth-quarter profit

Waitr posted a fourth-quarter profit of $2.6 million, compared to a $21.6 million loss in the same period a year ago.

On a per-share basis, the Lafayette-based company had net income of 2 cents, compared to last year’s 28-cent loss. For the year, the food delivery service had net income of $15.8 million, or 15 cents per share, compared to a $291.3 million loss in 2019, or $4 per share.

Waitr’s revenue, which comes from transaction fees paid by participating restaurants, grocery stores and customers, was up from $43.1 million in fourth quarter of 2019 to $46.8 million.

“Our financial results for 2020 reflect the implementation of a myriad of strategic initiatives focused on operating and growing a profitable business, with eleven straight months of consistent profitability and positive operating cash flow,” said Carl Grimstad, president and chief executive officer.

The company has seen its business boom during the coronavirus pandemic as restaurants have relied on delivery services to bring in money, and people have curbed going out for meals. At the same time, Waitr has expanded into other services, delivering alcohol and groceries from local stores, introducing technology for table-side dining and partnering with Flow Payments to create a specialized platform for the sale and delivery of legal marijuana.

Expenses dropped in the fourth quarter from $62.1 million in 2019 to $42 million. Sales and marketing costs plunged from $10.8 million to $3.4 million. Operations and support costs fell from $34.6 million to $24.9 million.

The company had $88.5 million in cash on hand as of Jan. 31.

Shares of Waitr were up 17 cents Monday, to close at $3.37.

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