(Bloomberg) -- Just Eat Takeaway.com NV shares slumped after the company said orders slipped in the first quarter, signaling continued weak demand for food deliveries.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Amsterdam-headquartered firm said that total orders fell 6% to €214.2 million ($228 million) in the period, below the average estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The stock fell as much as 6%.  

Food delivery companies experienced a boom during the pandemic as customers were locked down at home. They have since been struggling to reinvigorate order growth and improve profitability. Just Eat has been expanding its delivery offerings into the grocery, health and beauty sectors through partnerships with companies such as Lush Cosmetics Ltd, J Sainsbury Plc and Asda.

The firm on Wednesday said it is still exploring the partial or full sale of its US unit Grubhub, which it acquired for $7.3 billion in 2021. Chief Executive Officer Jitse Groen had attributed delays in the divestment process to meal delivery companies’ market capitalization being under pressure. A cap instituted by New York City on how much food-delivery companies can charge restaurants remains an impediment in the sale and the unit’s profitability. 

In a call to reporters on Wednesday, Groen said higher interest rates had also contributed to difficulties in the sale process, but that he sees momentum returning. “It’s not visible in Europe, but the markets in the US are actually quite positive, especially around e-commerce,” he said.  

The company kept its outlook for the full-year unchanged. The total value of orders placed on Just Eat’s platform in the first quarter fell to €6.55 billion from €6.67 billion a year ago, it said in the statement. The Northern Europe and UK and Ireland sectors posted 5% and 11% growth in gross transaction value during the period, respectively. 

(Updates to add share move and CEO comment)

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