Domino's Pizza says strong trading continues

Domino's Pizza said it continued to trade well during the quarter to Sept. 25, building on the very strong H1. Group system sales were up 11.5% in the 13 weeks to Sept. 27, to £237.0m, from £212.6m.

"Trading in the core UK business was strong, driven by continued investment in our digital platform and store opening programme," the company said in a statement.

"System sales in the UK increased by 10.5%, supported by the 21 new stores opened in the period, bringing the total year to date to 51.

"Of these, 34 were stores where the trading area was split between units. Working with our franchisees on their store openings remains one of the key planks of our strategy, with our current total of 920 stores still leaving substantial growth capacity.

"As indicated at our half year results, we are facing some very tough comparators in the second half of the year, with LFLs in Q3 2015 at 14.9% and Q3 2016 at 3.9%. Our two year LFL sales growth in Q3 was robust at 19.4%.

"System sales through digital channels were strongly ahead, up 18.1% compared to Q3 last year. Over 81% of delivered sales in the year to date have been online, with 64% placed through the app or mobile website.

"We continue to be encouraged by the third quarter results in Ireland where the strong LFL sales growth of 7.6% is benefitting from the increasing trend towards digital ordering and the growing economy.

"In Switzerland, total sales have increased by 16.7%. This increase came despite being unable to offer carry-out due to a local licensing issue in two stores. Excluding these, we showed strong LFL sales growth of 7.6%, although with them included, LFL sales were flat. We expect this license issue to be resolved soon.

"Iceland and Norway continue to perform strongly in the period with system sales growth of 17.5% and 124.8% respectively. Expansion continues with one store opened in Iceland and three new units in Norway in the year. We expect to open our first Swedish store before the end of the year.

"The German JV continues to perform in line with expectations."