Online food ordering and delivery service Just Eat Takeaway.com said its orders increased by 25% to 266 million in the third quarter, with growth weakest in the US.

The total number was slightly worse than expected by analysts at ING bank, who had forecast orders to rise 35% from a year earlier to 287 million.

Growth in Britain, the company's largest market was 51%, but weakest in the US, its second-largest, at just 3%.

"With most of the world returning to pre-pandemic life, our growth in the third quarter of 2021 has remained strong. Just Eat Takeaway.com is well-positioned for autumn and winter, our traditional growth season," chief executive Jitse Groen said.

Takeaway completed its $7.3 billion acquisition of US peer GrubHub in June, and GrubHub CEO Matt Maloney said last week he intends to leave in December.

Addressing the US performance, Just Eat Takeaway said it has started "an improvement programme re-focusing the company on GrubHub's strongholds."

In August, GrubHub suffered a setback when New York City, its largest US market, capped the commissions it and rival companies can charge restaurants to use their platforms at 15% of food orders for delivery.

Takeaway competes with Uber Eats and Door Dash in the US, and Deliveroo and Delivery Hero in Europe, among others.

In August, Takeaway reported earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of €190m for the first half, but said it expected that number to improve in the second half.

Gross transaction value, a common measure for e-commerce companies, increased by €6.8 billion or 21%, bringing the 9-month total to €20.9 billion.

Takeaway shares are down 30% so far this year.