The UK division of Domino’s Pizza yesterday upped the stakes in the battle for the home delivery pizza market by claiming market leadership. Domino’s Pizza, which holds the British franchise for the US brand, reported a 33% rise in interim sales to £46.4m (US$66.3m) and turnover worth £20.8m (last year: £14.5m) for the six months to 1 July. This generated pre-tax profits of £1.18m (£1.02m). However, these figures include sales in Ireland and all sales through franchisees.

Domino’s claim of market leadership has riled its archrival Pizza Hut, which also claims to lead the market for pizza delivery. Pizza Hut CEO Mark Jones responded: “We want to make it quite clear that while we admire Domino as a competitor we don’t estimate that they are a world market leader.”

It is difficult to compare like with like to achieve a fair comparison of the two groups. There is a lack of clarity over which elements constitute their business – takeway or home delivery – and Pizza Hut does not operate in Ireland.

Domino’s also announced plans to increase its current store count from 230 to 500 between now and 2006. CEO Stephen Hemsley dismissed concerns over a cyclical downturn in the UK economy, opining that an economic slump can be good news for home delivery as consumers reject the more expensive option of eating out in restaurants.

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The European Pizza Market

Fast Food & Home Delivery Outlets Plus