The food delivery Deliveroo app on a smart phone. Image Credit: AFP

British meal delivery company Deliveroo reported better-than-expected core earnings of 85 million pounds ($109 million)for 2023, and expected further progress during 2024 with a move into positive cash flow.

The company, which competes with Just Eat Takeaway and Uber Eats, said total orders fell 3 per cent year-on-year but rebounded a touch in the final quarter to being unchanged on the year.

Restaurant and grocery price inflation resulted in a 3 per cent rise in the total value of orders to 7.6 billion pounds.

Chief Executive Will Shu said Deliveroo had made progress towards profitability, while giving customers faster and more reliable delivery.

He said he expected core earnings to increase this year to 110-130 million pounds.

"On a free cash flow basis, we were on the brink of break even in '23 and we'll improve on that in '24," he said in an interview on Thursday.

Shares in Deliveroo rose 2.7 per cent in early deals.