September 26, 2012 / 7:00 AM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 1-Domino's Pizza confident as online sales grow

* Q3 UK like-for-like sales up 3.7 pct

* Group sales grow 7.9 pct to 136.4 mln stg

* Confident of meeting year forecasts

LONDON, Sept 26 (Reuters) - Britain’s biggest pizza delivery firm Domino’s Pizza reported a 3.7 percent rise in comparable sales in its home market over the last three months, driven by higher online sales, and putting it on track to meet forecasts.

Domino‘s, which operates the British, Irish, German and Swiss franchises of the global delivery brand, on Wednesday said group sales grew 7.9 percent to 136.4 million pounds ($221.71 million) in the 13 weeks to Sept. 23, its fiscal third quarter.

Higher sales were driven by demand in the UK, where Domino’s has just shy of 700 outlets and where people are increasingly ordering pizzas over the internet and mobile phones, with online sales accounting for over half of its delivered sales.

“We have exciting marketing initiatives in place across our markets and we are confident of meeting City consensus earnings for the full year,” Chief Executive Lance Batchelor said in a statement.

The company said it expected its German business to be an engine for future growth, as it shrugged off a 2.1 percent decline in underlying sales in Ireland, where it operates 48 stores.

Shares in Domino‘s, up 20 percent over the last six months, closed at 563 pence on Tuesday, valuing the firm at 913.7 million pounds.

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