Page last updated at 12:48 GMT, Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Home diners boost takeaway profit

Pizza
Domino's says diners are trying to "trade down"

The downturn is helping takeaway pizza firm Domino's, which has revealed a huge rise in annual profits.

Sales for the year to 28 December were up 18.4% to £350.8m ($524m), and like-for-like sales grew 10% in the period.

And pennywise shoppers have boosted Newcastle-based bakery chain Greggs, which has seen like-for-like sales rise 5.3% in the four weeks to 3 January.

But chocolate-maker and retailer Thorntons has reported a 2.3% fall in pre-Christmas sales.

'Best value'

Domino's pizza delivery firm, which has 553 stores in the UK and Irish Republic, said shoppers were looking to "trade down" from going out for a meal.

For its part, Greggs said its average customer spent about £2 a visit and chief executive Ken McMeikan said the chain's low prices gave it a boost.

"The underlying factor out there is that people are looking at the amount of money in their pocket and looking for the best value," he said.

Meanwhile, Thorntons put its sales decline down to an overall drop in High Street consumer spending and said that its own outlets were not "destination stores".

Confidence crisis

It comes after two of the UK's biggest High Street retailers announced falling like-for-like sales over the Christmas period.

On Tuesday, clothing retailer Next announced that its sales had dropped 7% in the six months to Christmas Eve.

At the same time, department store Debenhams said its sales in the past 12 weeks had fallen 3.3%.

A report from the Nationwide building society early this week showed that UK consumer confidence index fell to a new record low during December.



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