Domino's pledges more London branches as UK sales surpass £1bn

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The boss of Domino's Pizza Group has said it will target more openings in London to improve service in the capital.

His comments came as the group, which is the master franchisee of Domino's in the UK and Ireland, revealed that it hit £1bn in sales across the UK for the first time in 2017.

The figures

UK system sales broke through £1bn for the first time, as it increased by 8.6 per cent on the year.

Overall sales across the group jumped 15.1 per cent on the back of expansion, reaching £1.18bn.

Underlying profit before tax was £96.2m.

The company recommended a final dividend of 9p per share, up from 8p in 2016.

Shares jumped over two per cent on the news of the increased dividend and share buybacks.

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Why it's interesting

The company has expanded in new markets in the past year. In December it took a bigger slice of its Icelandic subsidiary, earlier than it had expected. It also opened one store in Switzerland and three in Sweden.

But chief executive David Wild told City A.M. that there was still plenty of room for growth in the UK, particularly in London.

"There's a great choice of customers here in London we just think we've been a bit slow at opening stores," he said.

He said some branches were servicing areas which are too large, meaning there was room to open new outlets, especially in areas with a high number of new homes being built such as Greenwich.

The group currently has just under 1,050 stores in the UK. Wild said there is room for 1,600.

Overseas, he said the company was looking at Finland and the Baltic States, but had not yet reached a decision and would need to seek approval from Domino's International.

What Domino's Pizza Group said

Earlier in the day David Wild commented: “We continue to take a rigorous approach to capital allocation, balancing the long-term needs of the business with more immediate returns of value to shareholders through the ordinary dividend and share buybacks.

"The market continues to be competitive but the strength of our brand and scale, combined with the expertise of our franchisees, are important competitive advantages in delivering quality, convenience and value to customers."

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