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Tue 30th Jan 2018 - Update: Domimo’s UK Fourth Quarter trading, Tom Kerridge’s Pub in the Park
Domino’s Pizza reports UK system sales up 9.8% in Quarter Four: Domino’s Pizza UK has reported group system sales rose 18.2% with strong growth in both established and newer markets in its Fourth Quarter to 24 December. UK system sales were up 9.8% and UK like-for-like sales ex-splits sales up 6.1%. The company has 1,192 stores group-wide with 43 net new stores opened in Q4, and a record 95 UK openings for 2017. Full year underlying PBT expected to be slightly above the current range of market expectations for the 52 week period. Chief executive David Wild said: “We are pleased to report a good performance in Q4, completing another year of significant progress and growth for Domino’s. With a record year for new store openings and continued like-for-like sales increases, the UK business has demonstrated its resilience in a challenging economic and competitive environment. Our international operations are growing in scale and benefiting from our expertise in supply chain and digital. We expect full year underlying profit before tax to be slightly above the current range of market expectations.” The company stated: “UK and ROI system sales were up 10.1% in the quarter, or 9.9% excluding currency effects. In the UK, system sales rose 9.8%, with new store openings and like-for-like performance both contributing strongly. Like-for-like sales growth, excluding stores in split territories, was 6.1%, driven by strong order growth. The like-for-like performance benefited from an additional trading day with the exclusion of Christmas Day, a non-trading day, from the 13 week period in 2017.The start of the X Factor Final on 2 December 2017 was the catalyst for our biggest day of sales for the year, demonstrating the growing trend for combining ordering in with family entertainment. Sales were up 25% over the average Saturday across the year. UK online sales were up 14.5% year-on-year, representing 77% of system sales in Q4 as our investment in digital capability continues to deliver benefits for customers. We had deployed GPS to 244 stores by the year end. We opened 37 stores in the UK during Q4, taking the total for 2017 to a record 95 – comfortably surpassing the previous record set in 2016 and creating more than 3,300 jobs. By the period end we were trading from 1,045 outlets. Republic of Ireland system sales were up 12.0% on a constant currency basis. Like-for-like sales grew 10.4%, and we opened a further new store in Q4 taking the total to 49. Switzerland achieved constant currency system sales growth of 23.0%, with like-for-like growth of 21.9%. The actions on menu pricing taken in H1, coupled with an improved online offer, continued to stimulate strong volume growth and we opened a new store in Q4, taking the total to 18.In Iceland, constant currency system sales were up 6.4%, with like-for-like growth of 1.9%. Earlier this month, we completed the acquisition of a further 44.3% stake in the business. In Norway, the conversion of Dolly Dimple’s stores continues and at the year end we were trading from 27 Domino’s-branded outlets. As a result of the increased store base and continued strong like-for-like performance at 16.2%, pro forma system sales growth was 140.6%. We opened a further three stores in Sweden in Q4, taking the total to six. Our German joint venture, in which we own a one-third stake, completed the acquisition of Hallo Pizza, the largest independent pizza chain in the country, earlier this month. Q4 performance has been ahead of our expectations and we have offset some of our margin investment with good volume growth. As a result we now expect full year underlying profit before tax to be slightly above the current range of market expectations. We expect capex for the 2017 year to be between £45 million and £50 million, below the previously guided range of £50 million to £60 million, mainly as a result of phasing in relation to the Warrington supply chain centre.”

Tom Kerridge’s Pub in the Park signs Greene King as brewery partner: Pub in the Park – the food and drink festival headed up by two Michelin-starred chef, TV presenter and Britain’s best-known publican Tom Kerridge – has signed Greene King as brewery partner for the 2018 festivals. Greene King has 1,800 managed pubs, restaurants and hotels and 1,150 tenanted and leased pubs within its portfolio, including Tom’s pub The Hand and Flowers. Located in the Georgian town of Marlow, it is the only pub in the UK with two Michelin-stars. In November last year, Greene King also worked with Tom to open its first Joint Venture pub, The Butcher’s Tap, creating a hybrid pub and butcher combination in Marlow alongside master butcher Andy Cook. The innovative new programme for its Pub Partners division sees the pub company and brewer team up with the best entrepreneurs and innovators who have the courage to be bold and try something new. Clive Chesser managing director, Greene King Brewing and Brands, said: “The success of our partnership with Tom Kerridge over many years has been largely due to our shared love of the great British pub, and of course the exceptional quality and customer service that his businesses offer. We are thrilled to join forces as the official brewery partner of the 2018 festivals and will be showcasing our best known beers alongside a specially created festival ale, exclusively for Pub in the Park.” Tom Kerridge added: “I’ve successfully worked with Greene King for many years, so I’m delighted to announce them as the official brewery partner for Pub in the Park 2018. Together we plan to celebrate some of the best food, drink and music the UK has to offer in a fantastic festival setting.” After the inaugural Pub in the Park festival in Marlow in 2017 sold out all 18,000 tickets in 24 hours, three new sites have been announced for this year. With a stellar line up of chefs, pubs and chart-topping music – including the likes of Razorlight, KT Tunstall, Scouting for Girls and Melanie C – Pub in the Park will now also be coming to Bath, Tunbridge Wells, and Knutsford. Tom and his fellow chef mates will be visiting the four English towns across the country, bringing his Michelin-starred pubs – plus a selection of other top UK pubs and restaurants – to serve their most popular dishes. Every event will celebrate the best food the country has to offer, combined with great live music, chef demonstrations, top quality shopping and other festival fun. On top of the national chef and music names, each event will celebrate the local community in the form of local artisans, pubs, local foodie heroes and musicians. Pub in the Park will be taking place on the following dates at the following venues: Marlow, Higginson Park 17-20 May; Bath, Royal Victoria Park 8-10 June; Tunbridge Wells, Dunorlan Park 6-8 July; Knutsford, 7-9 September.

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