Ireland's Domino's sales fall flat despite UK boost
Difficulties in Irish franchises drag whole pizza group down
Sales at the Irish outlets of Domino's Pizza have continued to be eroded as a result of economic difficulties here, new figures have revealed.
Domino's Pizza UK and Ireland -- the London-listed firm that controls the franchise for the two jurisdictions -- said that like-for-like sales in Ireland slid 4.1pc in the last financial year, somewhat depressing the group's overall performance.
There are 48 Domino's Pizza outlets in Ireland. There are 575 stores in England, 28 in Scotland, 28 in Wales and 19 in the North.
In the UK, like-for-like sales climbed 3.7pc in the financial year to December 25, but the group like-for-like rise was crimped to 3pc for the period due to the poor Irish performance. The group has previously had to offer financial assistance to some Irish franchisees as sales here declined.
Some of the most historically profitable Irish outlets are owned by Northern Ireland businessman Charles Caldwell. He owns stores in Tallaght, Rathmines and Dundrum in Dublin. The Tallaght store has been rumoured to be among the busiest in the world.
Accounts for Karshan, the company behind those outlets, show the company made a pre-tax profit of €1.17m in 2010, down from €1.2m in 2009.
Turnover fell from €22m to €21m. Mr Caldwell paid over €22m to buy the Domino's businesses from former franchisees Kevin and Murph O'Driscoll.
But despite the drag of the overall Irish business on Domino's, shares in the company soared more than 7pc at one point yesterday as it said it will deliver profits in line with estimates for 2011.
Chief executive Lance Batchelor also said that the sales for 2011 were decent in the UK given the impact of a VAT hike and a tough economic climate.
Strong online sales have also helped to boost sentiment towards the stock. Domino's is now frequently racking up more than £1m (€1.2m) in daily online sales.
Just over 12pc of those sales are being made through mobile devices.