World Cup effect helps profits surge at Domino's Pizza

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The Independent Online

Domino's Pizza served up a 25 per cent rise in profits yesterday thanks to the World Cup and big advertising campaigns such as the Michael Owen promotion of the Football Fanatic Pizza.

The pizza delivery chain's profits before tax jumped to £6.3m in the half year to 2 July as people stayed in to watch the tournament and ordered more pizzas over the internet. Like-for-like sales climbed 8.3 per cent.

The company opened 21 stores in the UK and Ireland, just below its target, but said it was on track for 50 openings this year. Its goal is to more than double in size from 428 stores to 1,000 over the next few years, while keeping the number of franchisees manageable at 200, compared with 150 now.

Domino's chief executive, Stephen Hemsley, said the football boosted sales by 2 per cent during the four weeks of the tournament. He was "slightly disappointed" as that was the same as during the previous World Cup in Japan when match viewing times were far less favourable, and less than the 6 per cent boost achieved during Euro 2004. "What affected us was the hot weather," he said. England's performance also left much to be desired. "If they'd carried on to the final, it would have blown the doors off," he added.

Separately yesterday, McDonald's credited the World Cup for "the strongest quarterly result in more than 10 years" in Europe, where like-for-like sales surged 6.3 per cent. Second-quarter earnings at the US fast-food giant rose 57 per cent to $834m (£453m) compared with a year ago.