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Domino's Pizza sees record UK sales

Domino's Pizza boasted of being one of the biggest growth stories on the high street as it racked up more sales records from its UK stores.

The delivery chain took an all-time high of £14.1 million during one week in December, with established stores averaging weekly sales of £20,903. Like-for-like sales rose 7% last year, helping profits to rise 11% to £50.4 million.

The progress in the UK, where up to 23 orders a second were transacted through its website, has offset the company's struggles in Germany.

Its initial strategy of rapid store expansion resulted in big losses before Domino's decided to slow store growth until the losses declined.

The German division made a £7 million loss last year but chairman Stephen Hemsley said he remained optimistic over its prospects.

A write-down on the value of its German assets cost £19.6 million last year, meaning group profits halved to £21.6 million. However the figure without loss-making operations in Germany and Switzerland rose 11.6% to £55.2 million.

The group, which has 858 mainly franchised stores in the UK, Ireland, Germany and Switzerland, sold 65.5 million pizzas last year and created over 1,500 jobs.

In the UK, where the first site opened in Luton in 1985, orders rose 4.1% as the business benefited from increased website traffic, its use of text message marketing and new product launches.

It said an increase of 1.2% in the items per order reflected success in bundling offers to give better value and target family meals more successfully.

Mr Hemsley added: "At the heart of the group's story in 2013 is some very powerful growth in our core UK market, where like-for-like sales growth accelerated to 7%, surely one of the strongest growth stories on the UK high street."

The figure has improved to 14.6% in the first few weeks of the new financial year, although this is against softer comparisons with a year earlier.

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