Domino’s Pizza has vowed to continue its expansion programme after posting pre-tax profits rise by almost a third.

The pizza delivery firm - which opened 55 new stores nationwide including six in the Birmingham area - saw sales rise 16 per cent to £406.9m with profits before tax increase to £29.9m, a year on year rise of 27.8 per cent.

Chief Executive Officer Chris Moore, said: “We continue to succeed, even in the current harsh economic conditions, because of our unrelenting focus on the quality of our pizzas, intense devotion to service and by marketing to our customers when and where they want to order.

“It is this passion that has delivered profit growth of 27.8 per cent to £29.9m and that will continue to drive our business in years to come.

“There is a strong desire for expansion by our existing franchisees as well as a significant number of new franchisees wishing to enter the system. This demand, combined with our recent successes in smaller locations and the availability of good properties at sensible rents, has led us to accelerate our store opening plans and move our expectations from 50 to 55 new stores each year.

“We have had an exceptional start to 2010, with like-for-like sales for the first six weeks up 11.0 per cent, despite the snow in the early part of the year being a mixed blessing. While encouraging people to stay at home, which is good for our business, the extent and severity of the conditions caused large numbers of stores to cease deliveries to protect driver safety.

“While we are delighted with this early performance, we face some very tough comparatives particularly in the second half, and an unpredictable economic environment. Despite this, we are confident that we are well-positioned for another year of strong growth.”

The company delivered pizzas to 3.4m households last year.