Pizza kings get €5m as Domino's sales boom
Profits at Ireland's biggest Domino's Pizza firm, Shorecal, soared to more than €7.2m last year as an improving economy whet consumers' appetites for fast-food.
The performance has also provided a financial boost to Shorecal's owners - Northern Ireland-based businessmen Charles and Adrian Caldwell.
Accounts for Shorecal show that a dividend of €5m was paid by the firm last year. That's on top of a €7.5m dividend in 2016.
Revenue at Shorecal jumped to €49.2m last year from €45.5m a year earlier.
The Caldwells' franchised Domino stores in Ireland include some of the busiest outlets in the world. The businessmen also own a number of Domino's Pizza outlets in Northern Ireland.
The Caldwells paid more than €22m a number of years ago to buy Domino's outlets in Ireland from former franchisees Kevin and Murph O'Driscoll.
Accounts for Shorecal also note that it had shareholder funds of €32.5m at the end of 2017.
The company employs about 460 people, and paid €8.1m in wages last year.
"The pizza delivery market is highly competitive and the group will seek new opportunities to open new stores whilst continuing to operate effectively and efficiently," the accounts note.
Domino's franchised outlets in Ireland are operated under licence from UK-based stock market-listed firm Domino's Pizza Group. It also owns the master franchise for the UK, Switzerland and Luxembourg, and has controlling stakes in the master franchise-holders for Iceland, Norway and Sweden. It also has an associate investment in Germany.
In its most recent trading update, Domino's said that its system sales in Ireland - the total sales by all outlets here - were up 5.2pc on a constant currency basis in the 13 weeks to April 1.
Like-for-like sales were up 3.5pc, which Domino's said reflected the impact of severe weather seen at the end of February and early March.
Last year in Ireland, Domino's opened its first new stores in Ireland in six years as it reacted to strong economic recovery.
Its online sales in Ireland rose almost 29pc in 2017 in euro terms, and at the end of last December represented 57pc of total sales here during the year.
Domino's said the delivered food market is "booming", helped by the rise of digital ordering and home entertainment.
There are currently 49 Domino's outlets in Ireland, with the potential for up to 75, according to the chain.