Fired-up Domino's delivers 'steady' progress in Ireland
Domino's Pizza said its progress in Ireland was "steady" last year, with a much stronger second half compensating for a slow start to the year.
In 2018 the company opened one new store here, taking its total to 50.
The group achieved like-for-like growth of 4pc in the Irish market, according to its annual results yesterday.
"We still see ample opportunity to raise store numbers to 75 over time. The Irish economy has recovered strongly and the casual dining market is booming," the group said.
In November Domino's reached an agreement to invest €12.5m for a 15pc stake in Shorecal, the Domino's franchise business owned by the Caldwells, the largest Domino's franchisee in Ireland. This was part of a wider transaction in which the group invested alongside a private investor that took a 34pc stake.
Shorecal will open 10 new stores on the island of Ireland (of which six will be in the Republic) over the next four years.
Overall, the group's results showed a mixed performance. The woes in its international arm offset an otherwise robust showing from Ireland and the UK, where like-for-like sales rose 4.6pc in the two markets.
Ireland and the UK accounts for around 90pc of the group's business.
The group posted a 22pc plunge in annual pre-tax profits to £61.9m (€72m) after suffering "growing pains" in its international business.
On an underlying basis pre-tax profits dropped 1.1pc to £93.4m (€108m) for the year to December 30.
Domino's warned in January that profits would be at the lower end of expectations following weaker international sales and business integration challenges in Norway.
But group CEO David Wild said he expects the international division to break even this year. It saw underlying losses of £4.1m (€4.7m) in 2018, with Switzerland, Norway and Sweden all continuing to be loss-making.
Additional reporting PA