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UPDATE 1-Pizza group DP Eurasia's sales boosted by online delivery

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Nov 18 (Reuters) - Pizza firm DP Eurasia, which runs Domino’s Pizza brand in Turkey and Russia, said on Wednesday its overall sales in the first 10 months of 2020 rose by 11.8%, driven by a recovery in both markets in September-October.

DP Eurasia, which in September reported a 74% fall in first-half core profit due to coronavirus costs, has been relying more heavily on online delivery.

The group’s sales at its own and franchise stores in January - October rose to 853.1 million Turkish lira ($110.27 million), with growth of 23.3% in Turkey and a decline of 8.7% in Russia.

In September-October, Turkey had a like-for-like sales growth rate of 43.4%. In Russia, sales fell 6.4% in September and 2.2% in October, which compared with a fall of 10.9% in July-August and a 30% slump during Moscow’s spring lockdown.

“Digital continues to be the main driver of the business as our channel mix has tilted more towards delivery due to the pandemic, reflecting broader shifts toward online consumerism,” chief executive officer Aslan Saranga said.

Online ordering as a percentage of delivery reached 75.2% in October, an increase of 6.5 percentage points over the last twelve months.

Daily coronavirus cases in Turkey have recently spiked to levels last seen near the peak of the first wave of the pandemic in April. Russia reported a record high of 456 deaths related to the novel coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing the official death toll to 34,387.

Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan said that the government would impose new coronavirus-related restrictions. All restaurants and cafes in the country will now offer only delivery service.

Moscow has ordered bars, restaurants and nightclubs to close overnight until mid-January.

The London-listed pizza company said it opened 10 stores overall in 2020, with a further 16 leases signed in Turkey, offsetting 14 and 13 store closures in Turkey and Russia.

DP Eurasia’s shares were up 1.29% at 0806 GMT. They are down more than 50% since February.

$1 = 7.7368 liras Reporting by Anna Rzhevkina and Vladimir Sadykov, editing by Louise Heavens and Jane Merriman

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