Papa John’s GB, the fast-growing pizza delivery chain, saw turnover rise 23.9% to £28.4m in 2012 as its estate increased from 176 to 212 outlets.

The company said it’s ahead of its strategic plan by a full year as it reported a first profit for six years. Pre-tax profits were £120,000, against a pre-tax loss of £1m in 2011, while the firm reported an operating profit of £120,000 (2011: operating loss of £998,000).

Turnover growth accelerated in the year - revenue increased 21.4% in 2011 and 17.1% in 2010. Like-for-like retail sales grew “significantly” in 2012 and the company had eight million visitors in the year.

On-line accounted for 40% of franchise sales in 2012 and Papa John’s expects most sales to be on-line within the next two years as it plans to invest in increasing its presence in mobile ordering and with targeted marketing activity.

Papa John’s said the pizza market remains “intensely competitive” with “significant promotional discounting continuing to take place in 2012 as in prior years, and this trend has continued through to August 2013”.

“The focus for the forthcoming year is to continue our strong growth in the underlying outlets and significantly grow the number of outlets trading under the Papa John’s Brand, thus increasing geographical coverage.”

The company said its sponsorship of the Football League has led to “increased brand recognition by customers” and more enquiries from potential franchisees.

Papa John’s said: “The directors acknowledge that trading conditions will remain challenging in the near future but remain confident that the Pizza John’s brand has made strides in our efforts to establish itself in the UK pizza sector and emulate the brand’s success in the US where the commitment to superior product quality has seen Papa John’s grow to become the third largest pizza company in the world.

“Having broken through the 200 store level Papa John’s has now become established as the third largest pizza delivery operator in the UK by a clear margin.”

In August it was reported that Papa John’s is aiming to have 600 UK stores over the next 10 years as it revealed plans to open 20 new sites over the next six months throughout the Midlands and northern England.