Domino's Pizza, the UK's biggest pizza delivery firm, has reported a strong rise in first quarter sales, boosted by new offerings and promotions.
The recent spate of cold weather has been bad news for most businesses but not Domino's, who revealed a boost in sales as families opted to stay at home in the face of icy conditions.
The group, which operates the British, Irish, German and Swiss franchises of the global delivery brand, said like-for-like sales at its 670 established UK stores rose by 6.6 percent in the 13 weeks to March 31.
Underlying UK sales had grown by just 1.6 percent in the first seven weeks of the year as heavy snow hit trade and forced store closures. But sales improved significantly later on as customers snapped up new products like hot dog stuffed crust and took advantage of a new short-term buy one get one free offer.
Online sales represented 62 percent of UK delivered sales, up from 50 percent the year before, the group said, adding that it expected trading in 2013 to be in line with market forecasts.
Shares in the firm, which in February posted an 11 percent rise in 2012 profit to 46.7 million pounds, closed at 571 pence on Wednesday, up 7 percent in the last three months, and valuing the business at approximately £934 million.
The group will open another 60 stores in the UK this year and double its number in Germany to 36. Domino's has said it sees its German business eventually outgrowing its British arm and expects it to be profitable by the end of 2015.
Chief executive Lance Batchelor warned that the weak economic background meant that the company was expecting a "tough trading environment" in the year ahead, as well as "food cost increases".
Follow us on Twitter @CandMResearch
Companiesandmarkets.com issues news updates and report summaries covering all major industries and sectors. The service provides additional client monitoring and timely alerts to breaking industry and sector news leading the day's business headlines. News articles, written by our staff, contain additional analyst insight, providing value added insight for our readers. News updates and real-time alerts on newly-released market reports are also available from our Facebook page, Twitter feed @CandMResearch and RSS links. We also welcome inquiries from business journalists and the news media.