Home delivery franchise operator Domino’s Pizza today said its sponsorship of hit TV show 'Britain’s Got Talent' helped drive a double-digit increase in sales and profits in its UK and Irish operations.
The group, which has sponsored the show for two years, reported a 15% increase in system sales and a 25% hike in underlying pre-tax profits, to £13.6m (€15.8m).
It said 'Britain’s Got Talent' was its key highlight for the six-month period to June 28, with acts such as singing sensation Susan Boyle helping the final become the most watched programme on television this year.
The hot early summer weather meant like-for-like sales growth in mature stores slowed to 7.1% from 11.4% a year ago, but Domino’s said sales traditionally pick up again as consumers tire of barbecue food.
Some 44 Domino's Pizza franchises operate in the Republic of Ireland.
The UK's biggest pizza delivery firm said it was on track to beat full-year market expectations as it takes advantage of cheap media advertising to boost sales.
Chris Moore, chief executive of Domino’s, said the half-year results had been achieved against a “backdrop of continued economic turbulence, the recent good weather and some very strong comparatives from last year”.
“While hot weather does have an impact on our business, sales start to come back after prolonged periods of warmer weather as the lure of the barbecue fades,” he added.
He said the group was “mindful” of tougher second half sales comparatives, but believes the robust first half and ongoing programme of store openings will help it exceed market expectations for the full year.
Domino’s has been benefiting amid the recession as consumers choose to eat in rather than splash out on restaurant meals.
The group said in February that annual profits rose by 23% and it has since seen ongoing growth in like-for-like sales.
Domino’s is expanding heavily and said it remained on track to smash its target for 1,000 stores by 2017.
Founded in 1960, the worldwide group is one of the best-known pizza delivery brands and has more than 8,700 stores in over 60 countries.
It launched in Ireland in 1991.