Domino’s has reported a 10.2 per cent increase in full-year pre-tax profit for 2017, as cash-conscious diners increasingly favoured a night in over a meal out in a restaurant, Britain’s biggest pizza-delivery firm said.
The group said on Thursday that underlying profit before tax hit £94.4m in the 52 weeks to 24 December last year, from £85.7m in the equivalent period a year earlier.
Domino’s said that on average during 2017 it sold one pizza every three seconds, leading to record overall annual sales of 97 million pizzas. UK sales increased by 8.6 per cent, surpassing £1bn for the first time ever.
“It has been a year of significant progress for Domino’s, despite the weaker consumer demand and cost inflation affecting the sector,” said David Wild, chief executive of the company, which operates in Ireland, Switzerland and Germany as well as the UK.
“Given this backdrop I am particularly pleased with our performance.”
He said that record sales in the UK were achieved thanks to 95 new store openings during the period.
“The market continues to be competitive, but the strength of our brand and scale, combined with the expertise of our franchisees, are important competitive advantages in delivering quality, convenience and value to customers.”
In 2018 Domino’s aims to open between 65 and 75 new stores in the UK.
Britain’s dining market is in the midst of an upheaval fuelled by a rise in inflation denting household incomes and consumers’ willingness to spend on luxuries, such as meals out.
Business rates and a rise in minimum wages have also bruised the performance of food outlets, and a report published by accountancy firm UHY Hacker Young earlier this week showed that more than a third of the UK’s top 100 restaurant chains are now loss-making.
Last week Prezzo announced it would close 94 restaurants. Jamie’s Italian and burger outlet Byron have in recent weeks both launched rescue plans that are expected to lead to branch closures and lower rents being negotiated with landlords. Strada closed 11 sites in January, while another Jamie Oliver venture, Barbecoa, collapsed into administration in mid-February.
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