Takeaway pizza specialist Domino's has revealed solid results for its fourth quarter of trading, with online sales helping to boost the pizza chain's coffers.
Total e-commerce sales for the period in the UK and Ireland rose by 56.6% to £84.1 million, and for the year as a whole, UK comparable sales were up 5%, compared to 3.8% a year ago.
Lance Batchelor, chief executive, said in a statement he expected the company to deliver full year profits in line with market expectations - currently somewhere around the £45m mark.
"Yet again, Domino's has delivered solid results in a tough trading environment. Our like-for-like sales growth in our core UK market has been good and we have opened a record number of stores across the group. We are excited by the positive signs in Germany and the group as a whole is well-placed for further growth," he said.
"I would like to pay tribute to the way in which our franchisees continue to drive their businesses forward, splitting territories to capitalise on potential sales and winning market share using a wide variety of sales and marketing initiatives to make sure that Domino's remains the customers' choice. Our franchisees are, and always will be, the heart of this business."
Throughout 2012, Domino's opened 69 stores - making it a record year for store openings and taking the total number of stores to 805.
Of these, 57 were in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. Just two stores closed, both of which were UK trial concepts.
"Cash-constrained consumers may not have toasted Christmas with as much as wine as expected or spent as much on groceries, but they certainly went for extra toppings on their Domino's pizzas," Nick Hood, business analyst at Company Watch told Huff Post UK.
"With online sales expanding rapidly, boosted by explosive growth in use of the mobile ordering channel, this is turning into one of the great UK multichannel retail success stories. Its ambitious store opening programme and expansion into the German market are (also) based on a solid financial platform."
In related news, Thomas Monaghan - founder and former owner of Domino's Pizza who ran the Domino's Pizza chain on his Catholic principles before selling it to Bain Capital in 1998 - has won a temporary injunction in the US blocking enforcement of the Obama administration's contraception mandate, which requires employers to provide free birth control — including abortifacient drugs — to their employees.
Federal Judge Lawrence Zatkoff issued his order late Sunday, saying Thomas Monaghan had "shown that abiding by the mandate will substantially burden his exercise of religion", according to CNN.
The current Domino's owners released a statement declaring that the company “has never supported organisations on either side of the reproductive rights issue".
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