Domino’s enjoys 3% increase in first-half sales

Domino’s, the leading pizza delivery company, registered a near 3% annualised increase in sales in Ireland in the first half of this year.

The 2.9% like-for-like sales rise compared favourably to a difficult start made in 2011, when the first six months saw an 8.4% like-for-like decline.

Interim figures for the European division of the US fast food giant — which basically comprises its operations in Britain, Ireland, and Germany — showed total sales of £286.9m (€367m), which was up by 11% on the same period last year.

Like-for-like sales (Domino’s opened 23 more stores during the period, mostly in the UK, taking total numbers to 748) were up by 5.2%.

Pre-tax profits for the European business — excluding Germany — increased by 15.2% to £23.3m.

Including Germany and exceptional items, profits were up by £2.5m to £21.5m.

Domino’s Europe chief executive Lance Batchelor hailed the strong set of first-half figures and added that trading since the end of June has continued “in line with expectations”.

“While the consumer backdrop remains tough, we’re confident about the future and our expectations for the year, as a whole, remain unchanged,” he added.

The bulk of Domino’s 748 outlets are in Britain.

In Ireland there are 68 outlets — 48 in the Republic and 20 in the North — while another 10 are based in Germany.

The company hasn’t opened any new stores in Ireland this year and, according to a spokesperson, doesn’t expect to do so in the foreseeable future, despite opening three new outlets in each of the past two years.

Judging by the company’s interim assessment, much of its growth focus will be on the German market — where four new stores opened during the first half of this year.

Management said the country showed good progress during the period, with the opportunity there “looking better by the day”.

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