Selling two pizzas a second in the first three months of the year meant Domino’s Pizza dished up another quarter of mouth-watering sales.
The chain grew like-for-like sales by 7 per cent in the UK in the 13 weeks to April 1, while franchise royalties were up 10.4 per cent to £285.5million.
Strong New Year and Easter sales offset a dip caused by the Beast from the East, it said in a trading update.
The busiest day this year was January 27, the day of the FA Cup fourth round.
It is expecting a sales boost for the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in May, the football World Cup and Halloween, when many people stay in to watch scary movies.
Grab a slice? Domino’s Pizza grew like-for-like sales 7 per cent in the UK in the 13 weeks to April 1, while franchise royalties were up 10.4 per cent to £285.5m over the same period
The FTSE 250-listed firm expects to open up to 75 stores in the UK this year, adding to the 1,054 it has here. David Wild, Domino’s chief executive, said: ‘The year has started well, with continued good growth in all our markets.
‘Customers are responding very positively to our clearer value proposition, with strong scores for value for money and overall satisfaction.’ Shares ticked up 2.6 per cent, or 9.1p, to 355p.
Barclays unveiled a loss of £236million for the first quarter of 2018, down from a £1.7bn profit a year earlier.
Good performance from its retail and investment banking businesses was undermined by a £1.6billion settlement with US authorities for mis-selling toxic mortgages and a £400million bill for extra PPI compensation.
The bank also unveiled a £5.3billion deal with the Government to buy mortgages once issued by failed bank Bradford & Bingley. Shares fell 1.4 per cent, or 3p, to 210p.
Stock Watch – Weatherly International
Weatherly International shares tanked after the copper miner launched a strategic review that could see it put up for sale.
The Aim-listed company is desperate for cash to pay down its debts and to press ahead with its purchase of a site in Zambia.
However, in a separate release, the miner said it was struggling to repay its loans to Orion and is in talks about restructuring its debts. Shares plunged 63.3 per cent, or 0.38p, to 0.22p.
The FTSE 100 ended the day up 0.57 per cent, or 42.11 points, at 7421.43, boosted by utilities and telecommunications firms, while the FTSE 250 was up 0.59 per cent, or 118.54 points, at 20,137.62.
Analysts at Investec backed online fashion retailer Boohoo to continue growing sales at breakneck speed.
This week, Boohoo reported a 97 per cent increase in sales to £579.8million in the year to the end of February, boosted by a revival in 1990s fashion.
And upgrades to its warehouses will give it a sales capacity of around £4billion, says Investec.
The investment bank has increased its earnings forecast by around 20 per cent for next year and 2020, and jacked up its target price from 270p to 325p. Shares dipped 3.4 per cent, or 6.1p, to 173.7p.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch upgraded power generation firm Drax to ‘buy’, predicting that cheaper biomass fuel supplies would support earnings. Shares rose 8.2pc, or 24.2p, to 318.6p.
FFI Holdings, which provides completion contracts to the movie and TV industries, has bought Signature Entertainment, one of Britain’s largest film distributors for £3.6million upfront, and separate payments linked to Signature’s earnings over the next four years.
Signature has launched 600 titles in the UK since 2011, including Aftermath, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Man Down, which features Shia LaBeouf. FFI’s shares were static at 72.5p.
Broadband provider Satellite Solutions Worldwide plans to raise £12million to fund the £9.5million purchase of Italian rival Open Sky and Sat Internet Services, a German satellite broadband firm. It also plans to change its name to Bigblu Broadband. Its shares ticked up 3.7 per cent, or 0.3p, to 8.45p.
Concepta signed a deal with Sinopharm, the largest state-owned pharmaceutical company in China, to distribute fertility monitors.
Its chief executive, Erik Henau, said: ‘It is a strong endorsement of the quality of our products that Concepta is able to engage with organisations of Sinopharm’s stature.’ Shares rose 14.8 per cent, or 0.92p, to 7.18p.