In its interim results, published yesterday, Domino’s Pizza Group — which oversees the international quick-service restaurant chain’s operations in Britain, Ireland, Germany and Switzerland — reported an overall first-half group pre-tax profit of £24.5m (€31m); up by just over 10% on a year-on-year basis.
Overall system sales grew by 15% on the same period last year, to £375m, and operating profit, excluding the operations in Germany and Switzerland, rose by 15.3% to £24.3m. Basic earnings per share amounted to 11.6p, up by 7.4% on the same period last year.
In local currency terms, like-for-like sales fell by nearly 2% and 3%, respectively, in Germany and Switzerland.
Commenting on its business outside of the core British market, Domino’s chief executive, David Wild, said: “The Republic of Ireland has continued its solid recovery and we have seen an improvement in Switzerland after a slow start to the year. Germany continues to be challenging, but we remain committed to our plans.”
Regarding the Irish operations, specifically, where Domino’s has nearly 50 outlets (nearly all franchised), Mr Wild said the 3.2% sales growth represented “a positive performance“, particularly given strong growth in 2013.
“City stores have grown well, but regional stores are still facing pressure from the previous downturn in the economy. We expect sales to remain steady for the balance of the year,” he added.
In its core British market — where 40-50 new outlets are set to open this year — Domino’s saw its third successive quarter of double-digit like-for-like sales growth.
Domino’s has increased its interim dividend, for shareholders, by 10% to 7.81p and has resumed its share buyback programme. Strong net cash generation from operating activities, of £28.7m, saw net debt slashed from £27.9m to £3.7m.