""Strong demand for pizza during the past 12 months and a growing national network has helped Eagle Boys Pizza overtake Pizza Hut as Australia’s second largest pizza maker.

Eagle Boys Pizza currently operates 281 stores across Australia, and will see the store count climb to 300 by Christmas 2009. This includes operations across five store models – local, micro, standard, drive-thru and express.  According to their website, Pizza Hut currently has 271 stores.

During the 12 months to 30 June 2009, Eagle Boys opened a record 56 new stores – more than one a week – including converting Pizza Haven stores following the company’s purchase of the brand last year. 

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

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

Eagle Boys Pizza saw sales grow 16.4% during the 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.

Eagle Boys Pizza Managing Director Todd Clayton said the record store openings, coupled with the launch of the company’s revamped menu, had driven Eagle Boys to become Australia’s second largest pizza maker.

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,” he said.

“Our greatest growth has come in the past two years since NBC Capital and the current executive team purchased the company.”

Eagle Boys posted a 24.8% growth in stores and 16.4% growth in network sales during in the 2008-09 financial year.

“Despite the market doom and gloom, we are continuing to enjoy strong year-on-year comparable store growth. Helping spur our sales growth was the launch of our Premium pizza range. The range, which includes toppings like Zesty Lemon Prawn and Chicken Club, now constitutes over 20% of our sales,” Mr Clayton said.

“Research told us there was strong demand for higher quality but affordable pizzas and our robust sales prove it. Pizza lovers have become more discerning and are increasingly dissatisfied with the small, under-topped and poor quality pizzas offered by our competitors.

“While many businesses are being conservative with growth forecasts in the current climate, the pizza industry remains robust. When times get tough, people often turn to pizza as an affordable family meal instead of more expensive fast food or restaurant meals.”

Eagle Boys Pizza is one of Australia’s largest pizza makers and is 100% Australian-owned. It operates more than 280 franchised stores throughout Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, and the Northern Territory, employing more than 4,000 staff and making more than 16 million pizzas a year. Eagle Boys Pizza was named the nation’s 2008 Supreme Retailer by the National Retail Association and received the Best Franchise award for the second consecutive year.

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