Shares in Delivery Hero lost nearly a quarter of their value today after 2022 earnings guidance failed to meet analysts' expectations despite the German online takeaway food company's outlook for revenue growth.

The company has invested heavily in its divisions amid a boost to orders during the Covid-19 pandemic, as it seeks to keep rivals at bay in an increasingly competitive e-commerce space.

It said it still expects food delivery, its core business, to break even for the first time in the second half of this year,

But it forecast an adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization/gross merchandise value (EBITDA/GMV) margin of around -1% to -1.2% for the full year compared to -0.9% forecast by analysts.

Analysts also pointed to lower-than-expected orders for the fourth quarter of 2021.

Still, the company gave revenue guidance of €9.5-10.5 billion for 2022, up from €6.6 billion in 2021.

Chief executive Niklas Oestberg said in a media call the company would update its outlook after completion of Spanish delivery startup Glovo, expected in the second quarter.

Delivery Hero said it expected Glovo to make an adjusted EBITDA of negative €330m this year.

Analysts at J.P. Morgan said in a note that that was €100m bigger than their own estimates and consensus for Glovo.

In addition, Delivery Hero's weaker-than-expected fourth quarter orders driven by Asia make it "hard to argue against competition fears in the region," JP Morgan analysts said.

The Berlin-based company closed a $6.9 billion deal to buy South Korean food delivery app owner Woowa Brothers last year, as it sought to expand into earlier-stage but highly competitive food delivery markets in Asia.