Domino’s Pizza UK & Ireland, the takeaway pizza operator, this morning reported like-for-like sales growth of 13.7% in 553 stores for the first half of the year. Revealing its interim results for the 26 weeks to 27 June, the operator – which is celebrating its 25th year in business, said profit before tax and exceptionals had increased to £17m, up from £13.1m - off the back of a sales increase of 20.8% to £237.1m, compared with £196.4m in 2009. The company, which runs 627 stores in UK and Ireland, said operating cash flow had increased by 42.7% to £16.2m, up from £11.3m. It also reported a growth in its e-commerce business of 61.4%, resulting in total online sales of £56.9m, up from £35.2m the year before. Domino’s said online sales now accounted for 32.7% of its UK delivered sales. This had been achieved by increasing its online activity, “to grow this sector of our customer base”, it reported. The group now has 38,000 fans on Facebook, with a number of fan sites for individual outlets and it has also run promotions via Foursquare. Domino’s added: “All of these web based activities offer a dual benefit of driving pizza sales online and building customer loyalty with this section of the community.” Its third year of sponsoring Britain’s Got Talent had been a success and franchisees “have also been maintaining high levels of investment in local store marketing”. Domino’s said its “Two for Tuesday” offer had “proved to be an excellent business driver”. The average delivery time remained at 23 minutes. The company opened 19 stores during the period, and added six franchisees, including its first on the Isle of Man. Chris Moore, Domino’s chief executive, said: “It is easy to try and attribute our success to one thing - be it the weather, or Britain's Got Talent, or the World Cup - but the underlying trend shows a more compelling picture. “We have now been in business for 25 years and those years of experience give us the foundation from which we can seize every opportunity. It is great pizza, delivered as quickly as possible, by dedicated franchisees and store teams, which result in solid and steady sales growth, supported by innovative marketing on both a national and local level. "We look forward to the future with confidence. While we may be 25, we know that there is still so much more to learn to maximise the opportunities and unlock the potential of what is still a relatively under-developed market." Basic earnings per share increased 28.4% to 8.04p Up from 6.26p and diluted earnings per share increased 27.1% to 7.89p. Total dividend increased 28.6% to 4.5p per share.