Demand for takeaways during lockdown set the tills ringing at Domino’s Pizza, although coronavirus-linked costs hit profits.
The company saw an overall sale surge of 5.5% in the six months to 28 June.
However, the group reported underlying pre-tax profits fell 4.6% to £47.6m over the same period after it was hit by £6.2m in costs for extra safety measures as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
Domino’s stopped customer collection during the coronavirus lockdown, leading to a slump on this side of the business, although the firm said in sales terms this was more than offset by a sharp rise in deliveries, while the restrictions were in force.
It has since restarted contact-free collections as the lockdown rules were eased and said trading in the first few weeks of the second half has been “encouraging”.
Domino’s said recent trading had also been lifted by the return of Premier League football, an increase in UK staycations and the VAT reduction on hot food.
It said it was expecting to see a further £2m in coronavirus-related costs in the second half.
Dominic Paul, chief executive of Domino’s Pizza Group, said it was a “resilient” first-half performance.
“While trading in the first few weeks of the second half has been encouraging, it is too early to conclude on how consumer behaviour will evolve,” he said.
Mr Paul said the delivery-focused business was not impacted by the government’s Eat Out To Help Out scheme last week, which has offered customers a 50% discount to dine at restaurants.
He said: “We have not seen a material impact since the scheme has been put in place.
“We recognise why that has been put in place and feel very privileged that we were able to continue throughout lockdown.
“It’s been interesting to see how habits have changed. We are making a lot more deliveries in the early evening, with more people ordering to eat after they finish work.”