Belfast Telegraph

'Susan Boyle effect' may boost Domino's Pizza

Delivery chain Domino's Pizza could be among the beneficiaries of the "Susan Boyle effect", City experts predicted today.

The group is sponsoring hit ITV show Britain's Got Talent, starring the Scottish singing sensation, and analysts say soaring viewing figures could convert into higher sales.

The company is in its second year of its support for the show and Douglas Jack, at stockbroker Numis, said a 25% year-on-year rise in viewing figures, reaching as much as 13 million, should boost trading.

The comments came as the UK's biggest pizza delivery firm reported a 9.3% jump in like-for-like sales in the 13 weeks to March 29.

The sales increase continues the trend of strong demand for takeaways during the recession as cash-strapped consumers stay at home rather than dine out.

However the figure indicates a slowdown in recent weeks from 15% sales growth during the first six weeks of the year.

Chris Moore, chief executive, said: "During the first six weeks of this year, the snow had a positive impact on trading, leading to stronger than expected sales for that period.

"We have tough comparatives to beat in the coming months, but are confident that we are well-placed to face the challenge.

"We are pleased with our current performance and trading continues to progress in line with expectations."

Online sales rose 31.7% to £16.6 million, accounting for 23.6% of delivered sales.

The company has opened 10 stores since the beginning of the year, creating 300 jobs in the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

Domino's now operates 563 stores and added it is well-positioned to achieve its target of 50 new store openings this year.

Joe Thomas, analyst at Investec, said margins at the group are likely to improve as food and fuel prices fall from last year.

Investec is forecasting full-year profits of £26.5 million, up from £23.4 million in 2008.

Susan Boyle - Singer - Britains Got Talent 2009 - Funny home videos are a click away

Belfast Telegraph