Sales of Domino's pizza in Ireland and the UK were up 11.4 per cent last year, which helped to buffer the company against additional costs associated with the Covid-19 pandemic.
The company, which published its full-year results for the year ended December 27th, 2020, on Tuesday, said it achieved system sales of £1.3 billion (€1.5 billion) in the UK and Ireland last year. It has 54 outlets in the Republic.
Earnings before interest and taxes in Ireland and the UK amounted to £104.3 million, which was up slightly from £102.4 million in 2019.
Revenue from its Irish operations was down slightly from £27.7 million in 2019 to £26.8 million. Overall group revenue fell by 0.6 per cent to £505.1 million.
“In the UK and Ireland sales growth has been strong throughout the year, especially over the initial lockdown period,” said the company. “This increase in sales growth has been offset with additional costs incurred in ensuring the group continued to trade safely.”
The company said its business suffered in Ireland due to the impact of Covid-19 public health measures.
“Our business in Ireland is a much smaller part of the group and we saw a weaker performance particularly in the second quarter as the Ireland lockdown had a more pronounced impact on consumer spending,” it said.
Its 2021 guidance for the UK and Ireland outlines planned capital expenditure of about £15 million.
Overall, the group delivered an underlying profit before tax of £101.2 million, which was up £2.4 million from the prior year. This increase was despite Covid-19 related costs of about £9 million.
“The performance of our delivery business during the year was very strong, more than offsetting the lack of collection business at a sales level,” it said.
“At an order count level, although we saw a significant acceleration of delivery orders, up 10.3 per cent, this did not fully offset the lack of collection orders, which were down 41.9 per cent, resulting in total orders declining by 6 per cent in the year.”
In terms of the current outlook, the company said trading has started strongly this year with “exceptional trading” over the new year period as it recorded its highest ever sales week.
“Our delivery business continues to perform very well, and collection remains at around 60 per cent of 2019 levels,” it said.
“We have demonstrated we have a flexible and robust business model that has been able to adapt to the uncertain and changing market conditions throughout 2020.
“The current trends and demand expectations, in addition to the investment in capabilities we have and are making, gives us confidence in delivering further operational and financial progress in the coming year.”
Dominos chief executive Dominic Paul said he was “pleased with the performance” the company delivered.
“We’ve worked successfully in partnership with our franchisees to continue to operate safely through the various lockdowns and play our part in feeding the nation during the pandemic, while supporting our colleagues and key workers,” he said.
“As the economy begins to reopen, we have invested in our capabilities to enable us to capitalise on the substantial opportunities ahead.
“I am confident that we can achieve our vision of being the UK and Ireland’s favourite food delivery and collection brand, and deliver great results for our colleagues, our customers, our shareholders and our franchisees.”