Internet orders fuel Domino's sales
Pizza firm Domino's today said 40pc of its deliveries were now to internet customers after it saw a 69pc jump in online sales in the last quarter.
The company, which started selling pizza over the web in 1999, relaunched its website in April and said sales have rocketed ever since.
The website allows customers to send orders direct to their nearest outlet by entering their postcode.
Domino's, which currently has 643 mostly franchised stores in the UK, saw like-for-like sales in its stores slow in the third quarter, but said it was on track to achieve profits at the high end of market expectations.
The company's online sales were £33m (€38m) in the 13 weeks to September 26, up from £19.6m last year. Total online sales in the financial year to date were £89.9m.
It said e-commerce trade was aided by the company's new iPhone app, which is thought to have generated around 300,000 downloads since launching a few weeks ago.
Domino's said like-for-like sales in stores were up 10pc in the 13 weeks to September 26, and up 12.5pc over the year. Total group sales were £115.7m.
The company said the third quarter growth, although lower than the year total, was "particularly pleasing" as it was up against tough comparatives following the first anniversary of the launch of its popular Two for Tuesday promotion.
Domino's also maintained expansion plans with the opening of 16 new stores during the period, compared to seven last year, and said it was on course to reach its target of 55 new stores by the year end.
Earlier in the year, Domino's posted strong sales driven by demand from World Cup fans and ITV show Britain's Got Talent, which it has sponsored for three successive years.
Today's update prompted Numis Securities to upgrade its forecast for annual profits in 2010 to £36.5m, from £35.5m.
Analyst Douglas Jack said: "We believe a similar favourable outcome is likely in 2011, driven by extended trading, online ordering, growth in local marketing and national advertising, margin growth and strong demand from franchisees to open new stores."
The company holds the master franchise to own, operate and franchise Domino's Pizza stores in the UK and Ireland. The first UK store opened in Luton in 1985 and the first Irish store opened in 1991.