Sponsorship gives pizza the X factor as sales soar
Sales at Domino's Pizza outlets in the UK and Ireland surged 15.6pc to £112.4m (€125m) in the quarter to December 27, with sponsorship of shows such as ITV's 'Britain's Got Talent' helping to boost full-year figures.
The network show that unleashed superstar singer Susan Boyle on the world last year was credited by the pizza firm for helping it to deliver like-for-like sales growth of 8.4pc in 2009.
Shares in Domino's Pizza UK & Ireland, which controls the franchise for the region, fell 1.5pc in London even as analysts such as Paul Hickman at KBC upgraded his earnings forecasts for the group by 5pc. He said Domino's continues to outperform expectations. Mr Hickman has been bullish on Domino's throughout 2009.
Cold weather and other hit television shows such as 'X Factor' and BBC's 'Strictly Come Dancing' also helped to increase pizza sales as viewers treated themselves on Saturday nights.
Domino's chief executive Chris Moore described the last quarter as "exceptionally strong".
"The success of 'Britain's Got Talent', the use of short-term tactical promotions and our continued focus on building our online sales have been major drivers during the year.
"We have outperformed our predicted like-for-like sales, improved our margins and opened more stores than anticipated," he added.
Domino's will deliver full-year 2009 profits "comfortably ahead" of expectations when it provides additional detail next month, Mr Moore said.
The company operates 608 stores -- 45 in the Republic. Northern Ireland businessman Charles Caldwell owns a number of outlets here.