Online sales boost Domino's as its shares rise by 10%
Domino's Pizza, which has 26 branches in Northern Ireland, has shrugged off the trend for consumer belt-tightening to serve up a surge in UK sales.
The firm's shares leapt by around 10% as it hailed improved trading in the UK after seeing an 8.1% jump in like-for-like sales in its third quarter to September 24. This came despite Domino's confirming that Britons remain "uncertain" amid Brexit fears and as the weak pound squeezes household finances.
It thanked a boost from online orders for the sales recovery as it led a concerted advertising push, with internet orders up 17.4% and now accounting for three quarters of all sales.
The UK's biggest pizza delivery chain said its new ad campaign, The Official Food Of Everything, had driven 200,000 online orders on the last Saturday of September alone - the equivalent of 140 orders a minute.
David Wild, chief executive of Domino's, commented: "In the UK, consumers are uncertain and they continue to focus on value.
"Our commitment to growth remains undiminished, as does that of our franchisee partners."
The group added that it expects annual profits to remain "at least" in line with City forecasts.
Overall third-quarter group system sales increased by 20.8% - or 11.9% with the boost from the weak pound stripped out - to £286.4m, with international turnover up 25.1%.
Domino's is on track to open a record 90 stores in the UK this year, with more launches already planned for early 2018. Steve Clayton, fund manager at Hargreaves Lansdown, said customers had "responded strongly" as Domino's "turned up the marketing heat" in the face of increased competition from the likes of Just Eat, Deliveroo and Uber Eats.
David Wild of Domino's will address a Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry event in Belfast on October 26.