Shares in Domino's Pizza rose almost 2% early on Thursday (28 July) after the pizza delivery group posted a sharp increase in its first-half pre-tax profit on the back of a busy summer period.

In the 26 weeks to 26 June, the FTSE 250-listed company recorded a 21% year-on-year increase in pre-tax profits to £40.9m (€48.6m, $53.6m), while revenue rose from 14.2% from the corresponding period in the previous year to £176.4m.

Like-for-like sales in the UK were 10.9% higher year-on-year, an increase which the company attributed to a strong increase in sales during the recently concluded European Championships.

"Current trading is encouraging, boosted by the Euro 2016 championships [and] we have made a sound start to the second-half on the year," said group chief executive David Wild.

"We face tougher comparatives throughout the rest of the year, but I am confident we shall deliver another good performance right across the group

The company opened a record 31 new stores in the period compared with 24 in the corresponding time frame in 2015, adding average sales per address in new stores was 24% ahead of the same period last year.

Domino's indicated its digital investment programme in the UK was yielding dividends, with e-commerce total system sales ahead by 25% and mobile sales, which contributed to 62% of online sales, up 35% year-on-year.

The company added its international divisions were progressing well, with like-for-like sales in the Republic of Ireland and Switzerland growing 12.7% and 11.7% year-on-year respectively. Meanwhile, Domino's expansion plans gathered pace after the group completed an investment of £24m to acquire minority interests in Domino's Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

"We have delivered a very promising opportunity in Scandinavia and remain open to further international opportunities where we can deploy our know-how alongside carefully selected local partners," Wild concluded.