Papa John’s UK, the pizza delivery company, has reported that its full-year losses narrowed for the 12 months to 25 December 2011, as turnover climbed 21.4% to £22.9m.
The group, which is led by Jack Swaysland in the UK and operated 176 franchise sites at the year end, saw pre-tax losses narrow from £1.96m to £1.02m. Operating loss during the year fell from £1.96m to £998k.
The company has since increased its estate to 189 sites and said that during 2012 like-for-like retail sales from continuing operations across both franchised and company-owned stores had grown significantly.
The group said that its focus for the coming year was to “continue the strong growth in the underlying outlets and significantly grow the number of outlets trading under the Papa John’s brand”.
Earlier this year, Papa John’s founder John Schnatter said the group was looking to open at least another 150 stores in the next three years across the UK. This would represent an investment of £30m and create 2,200 new jobs.
It said that for the sixth consecutive year underlying comparable sales for its Delco (delivery and carry) outlets grew. It also said that the investment made in its website had led to “substantial growth” in this channel and for the first half of the current year accounted for over 32.9% of its Delco system sales, with the majority coming from increased transactions.
During the year to the end of 2011, the company opened a commissary in Milton Keynes after a £5.5m investment from parent company Papa John’s International, which became fully operational last August. The facility, which had start up costs of around £335,000, is considered to have a capacity to supply 400 outlets in Britain.
It set aside a provision of £545k in regards to the liquidation of the Perfect Pizza business.
The company said that the pizza market remains intensely competitive with significant promotional discounting continuing.
It said that it acknowledges that trading conditions will remain challenging in the near future but “remains confident that the Papa John’s brand will continue to establish itself in the UK pizza sector and emulate the brand’s success in the US.”
Papa John’s is the third largest pizza company in the world.