Domino’s to expand Irish operations

Domino’s Pizza is to recommence store expansion in Ireland on the back of a strong performance here in the first half of the group’s current financial year.

Domino’s currently has 47 outlets in Ireland but plans to open a further store — in an unspecified location — during the final quarter of this year.

While only one new opening is scheduled, it will be the first time in a number of years that Domino’s has expanded its store portfolio in Ireland.

As part of its interim earnings presentation, Domino’s yesterday said that system sales increased by 10.1% in Ireland — on a local currency basis — in the six months to June 25 and by 22.4% on a reported basis to £28.6m (€32m).

“This reflects strong progress in the market as the [Irish] economy continues to grow,” Domino’s said regarding Ireland.

The company added that during the period online orders rose by 28%, in Ireland, with online sales now accounting for more than 55% of its total Irish sales.

It also noted “a strong surge” in mobile website sales during the six months.

On a group-wide basis, Britain’s biggest pizza delivery firm said half-year pre-tax profit rose 9% as orders made online increased.

The company has managed to stay ahead of the competition by offering technology such as digital wallets and apps for smartphones and smart watches that help customers place and pay for orders quickly.

Online orders in Domino’s core home market of the UK increased 11.5% to make up 75% of all deliveries in the period, the company said. Sales at UK stores open for more than a year rose 2.4% in the period, Domino’s said. This was down on the 13% growth seen at the halfway point last year.

To boost slowing sales in its home market, the company has signed a deal with Amazon to introduce voice ordering through its Amazon Echo technology.

Domino’s Pizza — a franchise of US company Domino’s Pizza Inc — said underlying pre-tax profit for the first half of its financial year rose to £44.6m from £40.9m a year earlier.

The group, which has most of its 1,130 stores in the UK but also operates in Ireland, Switzerland, and Germany, said international sales rose to £23.8m.

Total sales rose 10.5% to £546.5m in the first half of the year. Domino’s said in November it would increase the number of stores in Britain to 1,600 after seeing a strong performance from new outlets.

Forty new stores were opened in the UK in the first half, with 80-90 due to open this year as a whole.

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