• Full-year '02 profits jump 48% for Domino's Pizza UK & IRL

LONDON -- Domino's Pizza UK & IRL Plc saw its profits rise more than 48 percent in 2002, a year the company called the most successful on record for the group, which has 269 stores in the UK and Ireland.

According to a release, pretax profits were £4.2 million (U.S. $6.7 million) for '02, up from £2.9 million (U.S. $4.6 million) in '01.

Operating profit was up 43.2 pct to £4.5 million (U.S. $7.1 million), and earnings per share grew 40 percent to 5.60 pence (U.S. 88 cents).

Systemwide sales for the year rose 20.8 percent to £118.9 million (U.S. $188.6 million), while comparable-store sales increased by 11.2 percent.

For the first six weeks of 2003, comp-store sales were up 10.1 percent.

In the release, Domino's UK & IRL said it opened 34 stores last year, and that it would accelerate its store-opening rate this year. It did not say how many sites it plans to open.

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