Domino’s Pizza UK and Ireland, the delivery firm, has reported a 3% rise in like-for-like sales for the year to 25 December 2011, despite a decline in performance in Ireland, on the back of growing online sales and new store openings. Like-for-like sales for the year across its UK stores rose 3.7% while sales in Ireland fell 4.1%. It said that trading had continued to be robust during the first seven weeks of 2012 with like-for-like sales for the group up by 3.7%. Sales across the group’s UK stores were up 3.8% while its stores in Ireland returned to positive territory, up 2.3% for the first time in three years. Overall system sales for the year increased by 9.3% to £530.6m, with like-for-like sales in its 604 mature stores growing by 3% (2010: 11.9% growth in 553 mature stores). Group revenue grew by 11.5% to £209.9m (2010: £188.1m), while pre-tax profit rose by 14.6% to £43.6m up from £38m the year before, though this figure excluded losses of £1.4m from the group's fledgling German operations. It said that strong operational gearing drove operating margins, pre-Germany to 20.9% (2010: 20.2%). Adjusted EBITDA for the year climbed by 13.4% to £45.7m (2010: £40.3m). As a result the board is proposing to increase the final dividend by 19.3% to 6.8p (2010: 5.7p). During the year, the company opened a record 62 new stores (2010: 57). Four of the new openings were in Germany. Three stores closed in the year (2010: zero), two in the UK and one in Ireland, giving it a total at the end of the period of 726. Total e-commerce sales for the period in the UK and Ireland increased by 43% to £183.1m (2010: £128m). Online sales for the year accounted for 44.3% of UK delivered sales (2010: 35.8%). The group said it was now regularly taking around 50% of its orders online, with daily sales far in excess of the million pound mark. It reported that a growing number of stores take over 75% of their orders online. The company said it would continue with its plans to open at least 60 new stores each year in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. The business recruited five new franchisees last year (2010:10). The average number of stores per franchisee, a metric the company said it is keen to increase, rose to 5.7(2010: 5.0). It said that its initial progress in Germany had “been encouraging”. In total there are now six stores open in the country with a further dozen to come in 2012. At present only one of the group’s first six stores in Germany is franchised, but it plans to involve ever more franchisees as the business develops. It said that it was delighted to get firm expressions of interest from some of its leading UK franchisees about entering the German market, while it has already had a “significant number” of enquiries from within Germany itself. Lance Batchelor, chief executive, who replaced Chris Moore at the turn of the year, said: “I am pleased, in my first full results announcement, to be able to report a good set of figures. The consumer backdrop remains a tough one, but with record store openings and continuing appetite from our franchisees, we remain confident of the group's ability to drive both sales and profits going forward. "We are delighted by the enthusiasm of some of our best UK franchisees with regards to the franchise opportunity in Germany and we are confident that our franchising model in this market will commence during 2012.”