Crunched Brits turn to pizza

Domino's Pizza delivery bikes

Pizza delivery group Domino's Pizza has benefited once again from people shunning restaurants in favour of take-away meals.

The pizza chain reports a 10.8% rise in sales across its 501 outlets during the 13 weeks to 27 September, and a 8.3% jump during the first nine months of the year.

System sales for the third quarter also showed healthy signs of growth, rising from £83.3 million the previous year to £98.2 million.

More customers have also taken to ordering pizza online, with e-commerce sales up 43.1%. Online orders in the UK now account for 27.2% of delivered orders, up from 22.6% at the same point in 2008.

Chris Moore, chief executive of Domino's, says the company’s success is partly the result of tactical marketing campaigns, rallying support from the National Advertising Fund and the deflationary media market.

Despite concerns that a ‘barbeque summer’ might slow the company’s growth, Domino’s opened seven new stores, taking the total amount of openings since January up to 30, and said it was well on its way to achieving its target of 50 new stores this year.

The delivery brand’s Milton Keynes commissary project has also made progress and is on track to be operational at the end of the second quarter of 2010.

Chris Moore, chief executive of Domino's, said the results were pleasing given the tough economic conditions under which businesses are operating.

Moore says: “We still have to face some tough comparatives before the year end, but by focusing on the quality of our product and the excellence of our customer service, we are ready for the challenge.

“As a result of strong trading in the third quarter, the board believes it is on track to exceed market expectations for the full year.”

Shares in the FTSE 250 company have been steadily rising over the summer and on the back of the company’s strong quarterly results, they climbed 1% to 295p.

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