Belfast Telegraph

Domino's to deliver 1,800 jobs as it plans new stores

By Peter Cripps

Domino's Pizza has pledged to create some 1,800 jobs in 2012 by rolling out new stores as hunger for its fast food continues to grow.

The group, which has 726 stores in the UK, Ireland and Germany - including 15 in Northern Ireland - said underlying profits rose 14.6% to £43.6m in the year to December 25 as it delivered to 4.3 million households.

Its franchisees created 1,800 jobs by opening a record 62 stores, mainly in the UK, and the group expects similar growth this year.

Its Irish division returned to growth for the first time in three years, while the UK saw growth of 3.8%.

Domino's also benefited from strong growth in online sales, which now regularly top £1m each day and account for almost half of all deliveries, as customers use special apps for smartphones or order through its Facebook page, which has more than 400,000 fans.

New 'gourmet' ranges and stuffed crusts are also whetting customers' appetites.

The group, which has seen strong growth since the economic downturn as more people eat at home, said sales increased 9.3% to £530.6m in the year to December 25.

It stood by plans to almost double its store numbers to 1,200 by 2021.

However, the group's growth has slowed this year following strong growth in 2010 when it was boosted by the World Cup.

Like-for-like sales rose 3% compared to 11.9% the previous year.