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ST. ALBANS, England -- Solid December sales are leading Ask Central to open at least 25 outlets in 2003.
It has not yet reported same-store figures for the period or for 2002, but a consensus estimate from analysts puts Ask Central's pre-tax profits at £16.5 million (U.S. $26.5 million) for the year.
The good news encouraged investors on Jan. 6 as trading on the FTSE pushed share prices up more than 11 percent.
Despite struggles suffered by rival PizzaExpress, Ask's pizza sales have been strong amid tourism declines since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S. Analysts attribute much of that success to the location of the majority of Ask stores outside the M25 beltway around London, and away from tourist areas.
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