Pizza Express profits rise as delivery service added
Restaurant chain Pizza Express, which is in the process of expanding in Belfast, has said new additions to its menu, including a Christmas special with Brussels sprouts, helped it serve up a rise in half-year sales and profits.
The group, which has more than 500 restaurants worldwide, said like-for-like sales in the UK and Ireland rose 0.5% in the 28 weeks to January 10 in spite of a "challenging market backdrop", while underlying earnings increased by 3% to £56.4m.
The firm branched out into delivery last September and bought gourmet pizza delivery firm Firezza, adding 17 sites across London.
Pizza Express is expanding here, taking on the city centre site left behind by the former Potted Hen restaurant.
The restaurant chain is opening a total of two new locations in Belfast, including another in Ballyhackamore in the east of the city, which is also set to get a new Caffe Nero in the near future.
Richard Hodgson, chief executive of Pizza Express, said: "Despite a more challenging market backdrop, Pizza Express has performed well in the first half of the year.
"Our seasonal autumn menu was well received, as was our introduction of Christmas specials, including the much talked-about Brussels sprout pizza."
Pizza Express continued to expand over the first half of the year, opening another 13 new restaurants in the UK and 12 abroad.
The restaurant chain bought out previously franchised businesses in China and the UAE last year.