Domino's pizza profits rise thanks to slower ovens and cheap cheese

Chief executive David Wild explained: “There’s an optimum time for cooking a pizza."

As Mary Berry would probably tell you, a good bake is all in the timing, and it seems Domino’s Pizza is taking notice.

The UK’s biggest pizza delivery service revealed today it had slowed down the speed of its ovens as some managers were a little too enthusiastic to ship out pizzas to their customers.

Chief executive David Wild explained: “There’s an optimum time for cooking a pizza. It’s a bit technical and to do with the rise of the dough, but some of our franchisees were cooking a bit too quickly.”

The slowed down ovens had the desired effect, as sales at the 869-strong chain jumped 15.8 per cent to £877.2 million. Sales in the UK were up 11.7 per cent on a like for like basis and pretax profits rose 17.8 per cent to £73.2 million.

Lower cheese and dough prices also helped profits rise, as franchisees were handed £11 million in savings from the cheap cheese.

Wild added that sales through smartphones were particularly impressive, with 48.6 per cent of all online sales via its phone app. Around 78% of all Domino’s UK sales are now made online, by comparison, Just Eat said earlier this week around six out of ten of all takeaway orders are made by phone.

The strong results also see shareholders get a dividend boost of 18.6 per cent to 20.75p a pop, and the company announced a share buyback scheme.

Wild added he also wants to focus on opening more stores in London, where they are under-penetrated. He said: “Of the 61 stores we opened last year, only four were in London. We’ve frankly not opened enough in London, so next year we’re targeting ten new stores.”

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