Eagle Boys knocks Pizza Hut off

Eagle Boys knocks Pizza Hut off

STRONG demand for pizza and a sizzling national network has helped Eagle Boys Pizza oust Pizza Hut as Australia’s second largest pizza maker by number of outlets.

The No 1. spot is held by another Brisbane success story in the ASX listed Domino’s, which has 782 stores - 438 in Australia, 78 in New Zealand, 154 in France, 16 in Belgium and 96 in The Netherlands.

Eagle Boys Pizza currently operates 281 stores across Australia with that store count to climb to 300 by Christmas. According to its website, Pizza Hut currently has 271 stores.

Eagle Boys Pizza managing director Todd Clayton (pictured), says Dominos CEO Don Meij will be ‘looking in his rear vision mirror’.

“There’s no doubt that they (Dominos) have done a wonderful job as a listed pizza maker, but we will keep doing what we’re doing,” says Clayton.

During the 12 months to 30 June 2009, Eagle Boys opened a record 56 new stores – more than one a week - including converting the acquired Pizza Haven stores following the company’s purchase of the brand last year. The acquisition has resulted in increased marketshare as it concentrates on branding all of its 30 Pizza Haven outlets.

According to the latest Euromonitor data, Dominos still dominates marketshare in Australia with 46%; Pizza Hut at 29%; Eagle Boys 17% and other 8%.

Since Eagle Boys Pizza was purchased by private equity firm NBC Capital in 2007, network store numbers have grown by 63% - the highest period of growth in the company’s 22-year history.

“It’s been fantastic. The category needed to be shaken up and we got out of a commoditised market and concentrated on delivering a good product. The GFC has actually been good for us,” says Clayton.

“In a David versus Goliath battle, Eagle Boys has knocked American pizza multinational Pizza Hut off the podium and stolen the number two spot in Australia’s pizza hierarchy.”

When asked by Brisbane Business News about plans to list, Clayton replied, “ask me that question in 12 months time.”

Apart from bolstering its network in Queensland, NSW and Western Australia, the company also entered new markets in Sydney, Adelaide and regional South Australia for the first time.

Eagle Boys Pizza sales increased 16.4% during the last 12 months, bringing total sales growth during the past three years to 43.2%.

The company expects the strong double digit growth to continue during the 2009-10 financial year and plans to bolster its position by opening more than 100 new stores by June 2011.

“We are confident that we can sustain growth over the next 12 months and are forecasting 24 per cent growth,” says Clayton.

Eagle Boys employs more than 4000 staff and bakes more than 16 million pizzas a year.

The company will add Japan, India and China to its franchise portfolio over the next 12 months.

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