Domino's Pizza flips four-year slump into 6pc sales jump in 2013
Waistlines could be set to expand as the economy improves, with Domino's Pizza reporting that its sales in Ireland jumped 6pc to €46.8m last year.
In the 13 weeks to December 29, sales were 7.6pc higher at €13.5m. The figures mark an impressive turnaround from a year earlier when like-for-like sales were down 0.3pc on a full-year basis and 4.2pc lower in the last quarter of 2012.
The sales increase in the latest quarter means the company reported like-for-like sales rises every quarter last year in Ireland after four years of declines.
Domino's, which has 48 outlets in Ireland, said its late-night opening was a key driver of the sales boost. Some of the company's franchised outlets here, including one in Tallaght, have typically been among Domino's busiest in the world.
But the Domino's business here suffered badly once the downturn took hold. Between 2007 and the end of 2012, Domino's Pizza sales in Ireland slumped 31pc even though just one of its outlets here had closed during that time.
The first signs of stabilisation in its Irish sales came early in 2013.
While an increase in sales is down to a combination of initiatives, it's also likely that consumers who had been carefully watching their spending are more willing to spend on small luxuries.
In a trading update yesterday, Domino's Pizza Group, which controls the franchise for the US brand in the UK, Ireland and other territories such as Germany, said trading in the UK had been particularly strong, with like-for-like sales in the 670 mature outlets there rising 10.9pc in the 13 weeks to December 29.
So-called system sales, or total sales, were 15.6pc higher in the UK during the period at £170.3m (€205m).
The increases were helped by increased digital marketing activity and the favourable timing of Christmas as it fell mid-week.
Domino's Pizza Group chief executive Lance Batchelor, said the company will report 2013 results in line with expectations, as a better-than-expected performance in the UK and Ireland is offset by bigger-than- expected losses in Germany.