Domino's to top up store count as Irish sales soar
Pizza chain Domino's is expanding its supply facilities in Ireland as it eyes expanding the number of outlets here from 49 to 75.
UK-listed Domino's Pizza Group - which controls the franchise in Ireland, the UK and other countries in Europe such as Switzerland - said a recovering Irish economy has boosted sales for the group here.
And it said adoption of digital channels by consumers has helped to propel purchases.
The company said that so-called system sales - the total sales by all Domino's outlets here - soared 10.8pc in the last financial year on a like-for-like basis, with online sales almost 29pc higher.
The company opened two outlets in Ireland last year - the first it had opened here in six years.
Its online sales in Ireland now represent 56.9pc of its total sales here.
"We also plan to invest in extending our supply chain capacity to allow us to serve 75 stores in the Republic of Ireland, as well as our stores in Northern Ireland," it said.
A big slice of the Domino's business in Ireland is controlled by Northern Ireland businessmen Charles and Adrian Caldwell.
In 2016, the company owned by them, which controls a number of Domino's Pizza outlets in Ireland, saw revenue rise 5.3pc to €45.5m.
Its pre-tax profit was 4.7pc higher at just under €7.5m.
The Caldwells paid over €22m to buy Irish Domino's outlets from former franchisees Kevin and Murph O'Driscoll a number of years ago.
UK-based Domino's Pizza Group had 1,192 outlets across six markets at the end of 2017, including 1,045 stores in the UK. It expects to open between 65 and 75 new outlets in that market this year.
The stores reported total system revenue of £1.17bn (€1.31bn) in 2017, which was up 15.1pc.
The company's own revenue - which includes sales from its owned stores and payments from franchisees - rose 31.6pc to £474.6m (€532.5m) in the reported 53-week period, and was 29.3pc higher on a 52-week basis. Reported operating profit fell 9pc to £75.5m (€84.7m). Underlying pre-tax profit was 10.2pc higher, at £96.2m (€107.9m).
Chief executive David Wild said that UK growth had "moderated" in 2017 after three years of a "very strong" like-for-like performance.
"Consumers were more cautious and value-conscious, and incomes were squeezed as wage inflation lagged broader cost inflation," the pizza boss said.
"The competitive environment continued to evolve, with delivery service companies continuing to invest heavily in growing scale," Mr Wild added.