Domino's Pizza (DOM.L) has scored a Euro 2020 takeaway boost, as hungry fans ordered takeaway to scoff during the match.
Domino's UK said in its half-year report, published on Tuesday, that the England v Scotland match was its busiest day for orders so far this year. The group stage match between the home nations — which ended in a 0-0 stalemate — drew a peak audience of 20m on 18 June.
Domino's said England's progression to the Euro 2020 final provided a sustained order boost, as fans in front of the TV opted for takeaway rather than home cooking.
Sales rose nearly 20% to £752.3m ($1bn) in the first half of 2021. Profit surged 117% to £41.3m. The takeaway chain was boosted by reduced VAT but still recorded strong underlying momentum.
Domino's hiked its payout to shareholders in recognition of the strong performance. The pizza business said it would increase the size of its share buyback programme by £35m, taking total share repurchases to £80m. The company announced an interim dividend of 3p per share.
"I am delighted with the performance of the business in the year to date," chief executive Dominic Paul said in a statement.
"We've worked closely with our franchisees to maintain fantastic service levels to our customers, while continuing to prioritise the safety of our colleagues and customers. I'd like to thank everyone in the system for their incredible commitment through the pandemic.
"Whilst the external landscape remains uncertain, the second half has started well. I believe our agile business model leaves us well placed to capitalise on the significant opportunities ahead while continuing to invest in our strategy, which will deliver benefits for franchisees and shareholders alike."
Shares in the business rose 4.6%.
Watch: How much is an Olympic gold medal worth?