Pizza is the favourite on everyone’s menu at the moment, with leading pizza chains reporting positive returns for the first part of the 2014 financial year.

Domino’s Pizza (DPE) has reported its first quarter trading results fall in line with company expectations.

The company, which operates across six markets, including Australia, New Zealand, France, Belgium, The Netherlands and Japan, recorded group same store sales growth of 4.3 per cent for the first quarter, confirming the company’s 2014 financial guidance.

Its Australia and New Zealand same store sales grew 5.2 per cent in the first four months with a total of 26 new stores.  While its European operations same store sales reported a 0.1 per cent increase and its recently acquired Japanese arm has saw a 9.7 per cent growth in the same period.

DPE has also confirmed underlying EBITDA growth will be 15 per cent, excluding non-recurring acquisition and associated integration costs relating to the Japan acquisition.

Group CEO and managing director Don Meij said the company is on track to achieve guidance and will remain positive but will trade cautious in the next eight months ahead.

“We are well on our way to achieving a new store build record in FY14 and we’ve got some exciting product launches and digital innovations in the pipelines,” he said.

Andrew Megson, the company’s European CEO, will also return to Australia in role of CEO Australia and New Zealand.

Meij also highlighted the company is still committed to driving sales and efficiencies in the business through digital innovation.

“This focus has already seen us achieve almost 60 per cent of total sales in Australia online and the goal is to extend this to 80 per cent in the next three years.

“We have a recipe that works but we certainly won’t rest on our laurels. We intend to do a lot of work to ensure we anticipate how our consumers will order from us in the future and make sure we are prepared for them.”

Similarly, Retail Food Group’s Pizza Capers and Crust Gourmet Pizza have been key drivers for the business.

Under the company’s Project QSR400, which was implemented in August this year, the company is on target to deliver new pizza outlets between the two brands forecasting 70 outlets to be opened in the 2014 financial year and further 60 in the 2015 financial year.

RFG CEO Tony Alford noted the company anticipates having committed to 45 new QSR sites by the end of first half of the 2014 financial year, some 50 per cent in excess of that originally programmed. Of these sites 22 are already franchised.

Alford also said based on YTD trading performance, the Company remains comfortable with existing guidance of circa 15 per cent growth on the reported 2013 financial year NPAT.

“Whilst QSR outlet growth has accelerated beyond initial expectations, and is anticipated to deliver enhanced FY14 revenues, RFG remains alive to the fact that the short term increased number of corporate owned and operated outlets, pending their franchising, will also drive additional expense having regard to the normal 18 month maturity profile of those outlets,” he said.

These reports are in line with recent Retail Turnover statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics for August, which reported that cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services grew 0.4 per cent.