Deutsche Börse launched a Dax reform last year, the rules of which will take effect from September 2021.

The most important impetus for the proposed changes was the insolvency of the payment processor and former Dax member Wirecard.

However, criticism of Delivery Hero's rise in the index is likely to have been an important reason for some of the new rules when the company rose to the top tier of the stock market at the end of August 2020.

In the first place of the reform is the expansion of the Dax from 30 to 40 values. It has been the case since last December that future DAX candidates must have a positive Ebitda in the two previous financial reports before they can be accepted. This is exactly the catch in the rise of Delivery Hero. The food delivery service, which was founded in Berlin in 2011, has seen rapid growth in recent years, but the bottom line has so far only been operational losses.

"As much as you can be pleased that a global growth company is a member of the Dax, you also have to ask the question whether Delivery Hero is in the right place there," says Marc Tüngler from the German Association for Protection of Securities (DSW).

Deutsche Börse itself gave the answer to this question: “The Börse itself says that Delivery Hero shouldn't actually belong in the Dax.

The new requirements for inclusion in the selection indices expressly include that one must have at least made an operational profit in the past. "

Big investments

At least for the Berliners, there should be nothing with the profits this year either. For 2021, management is forecasting an adjusted EBITDA margin based on gross merchandise value (gross merchandise volume, GMV) of between minus 1.5 and minus 2 percent. The results are burdened, among other things, by high investments, it is said. The company is not only investing in new markets such as Japan or Vietnam, but also in offers beyond the delivery of ready-made meals. In this way, Delivery Hero aims to benefit from the ever-evolving customer demand for convenience and speed.

In particular, so-called Dmarts are raised. The company understands this to mean small, Delivery-Hero-owned warehouses at strategically relevant locations, with the help of which customers can be supplied with food and everyday products very quickly. The aim is, with Dmarts and through partnerships with local shops, to get the goods to the customer in less than an hour and often even within 10 to 15 minutes. The offer in Berlin, which will start in August under the brand “foodpanda”, even provides for the delivery of groceries and the so-called quick-commerce items, some within 7 minutes.