Domino’s positive despite quarterly sales fall

Pizza delivery company Domino’s has stressed it has long-term growth plans for Ireland despite seeing a near 4% sales decline in its Irish operations during the final quarter of 2012.

In a trading update for the 14 weeks to the end of December, Domino’s Pizza Group — which operates the company’s interests in Ireland, Britain, and mainland Europe — said that overall sales grew by 20%, year-on-year, to £174.5m (€214.3m). This was mainly driven by a 5% annualised growth rate in sales in its core UK division, which houses 612 outlets.

In the Republic, however, like-for-like sales during the period fell 3.8%, up on a 0.9% annualised sales fall for the same period of 2011.

As of the end of 2012, Domino’s had a total of 805 stores after seeing a record year for store openings across all of its territories. Only two closures occurred, both trial concepts in Britain. Currently, it operates 48 stores in the Republic and 20 in the North.

However, a spokesperson said yesterday that there are no plans to open any more stores in the Republic this year, but management still sees the Irish market as a candidate for long-term growth.

Chief executive, Lance Batchelor said the group delivered strong results “in a tough trading environment”, with management “excited” by positive signs from German operations, with the group “well-placed for further growth”.

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