Domino’s Pizza has seen sales surge by nearly a fifth over its first quarter as demand for takeaways jumped during lockdown.

The takeaway chain reported an 18.5% hike in UK and Ireland like-for-like sales – excluding stores opened near another outlet in so-called split territories – for the three months to March 28.

(Tim Goode/PA)

Domino’s, which is holding its annual general meeting for shareholders on Thursday, said overall UK and Ireland system sales were 18.7% higher at £371.3 million.

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It hailed the success of its delivery service, with orders rising 6.8%, which helped offset a hit to collection business amid the lockdown.

The group said collections were seeing some recovery, now trading at around 65% of pre-pandemic levels.

Dominic Paul, chief executive of Domino’s Pizza Group, said: “We are pleased with the strong performance of the business in the first quarter of the year.

“The investments we are making to deliver our multi-year strategic plan give us confidence in our ability to capitalise on the opportunities which lie ahead as the nation begins to emerge from the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.”

Domino’s recently announced plans to withdraw from wholly owned and directly operated international markets and said it had agreed deals to offset businesses in Sweden and Iceland, which are set to complete by the end of May.

The move comes as part of a plan to focus on its core UK and Ireland business.