Domino's Pizza Group has reported a better-than-expected 10.2% rise in full-year pre-tax profit on strength in its UK and other European markets. 

The pizza-delivery firm forecast 65 to 75 store openings in the UK this year and said UK system sales in the first two months of 2018 climbed 10.9%, with a 7.1% rise in like-for-like sales.

The company said its underlying pre-tax profit rose to £94.4m in the 52 weeks ended December 24, from £85.7m a year earlier, the company said.

The figures beat analyst expectations of £92.1m in a Thomson Reuters poll. 

Domino's Pizza operates in the UK, Ireland, Switzerland and Germany. 

The company said its growth in Ireland accelerated year year, buoyed by a recovering economy and an increased focus on its digital operations here. 

Local currency system sales were up 11.3%, with like-for-like growth of 10.8%. It noted that Irish online sales were up 28.8% on an annual basis and now represent 56.9% of total sales here. 

The company opened its first new stores in Ireland for six years during the 12 month period, taking the total to 49 from 47. It said it plans further new store openings this year. 

It also said it plans to invest in extending its supply chain capacity to allow it to serve 75 stores in the Republic as well as its stores in Northern Ireland. 

The company said annual sales at UK stores that were open for more than a year rose 4.8%. 

System sales rose 15% to £1.16 billion in 2017, primarily driven by strength in the UK, where it opened 95 new stores.

The company, a master franchisee of US group Domino's Pizza Inc, raised its final dividend by 16.7% and said £50m of share buybacks were planned for 2018. 

Much like its parent company, Domino's Group is focusing on sales through online channels to fend off competition from the likes of Just Eat, an online food delivery company. 

Online order value represented 75% of the total last year, higher than 71.8% in 2016.

Online order value represented 75% of the total last year, higher than 71.8% in 2016.