Irish hungrier for Domino’s Pizza but wider group posts 7.4% drop in profits

CEO to retire as company hit by losses in European business

 Irish sales of Domino’s Pizza rose 8.5 per cent in the first half of the year to €35.4 million. Photograph: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg

Irish sales of Domino’s Pizza rose 8.5 per cent in the first half of the year to €35.4 million. Photograph: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg

 

Irish sales of Domino’s Pizza rose 8.5 per cent in the first half of the year to £32.5 million (€35.4 million), according to the UK-listed owner of the master franchise for Britain and Ireland.

The group said Irish sales from its approximately 50 Irish outlets increased by 8 per cent when translated into sterling. Like-for-like sales, excluding the impact of a new store openings, rose 6.9 per cent here, as the Irish market outperformed the British operation.

Domino’s, which spent £7 million (€7.5 million) in the UK stockpiling ingredients ahead of Brexit, also said it plans to upgrade its Irish distribution centre in Naas, which sells pizza bases and other ingredients to its seven Irish sub-franchisees.

The profitability of its Irish operation is not broken out in the results, however. Overall, Domino’s Pizza reported a 7.4 per cent drop in half-year profits, hit by losses in its European business, and said chief executive David Wild was retiring after leading the company for five years.

The company did not name a replacement for Mr Wild, although Sky News had reported in late June that Domino’s was looking to tap Andrew Rennie, the head of the European business at Domino’s Pizza Enterprises, for the role.

Domino’s continental business has been a sore spot this year as it struggles to control costs. The company also said it faced higher interest costs due to a rise in net debt.

Limited visibility

“The performance of our international business is very challenging and trading visibility remains limited. The weakest performance was in Norway, although we also saw increasing losses in Sweden and Switzerland, ” Mr Wild said in a statement.

Underlying pretax profit at the franchise of US-based Domino’s Pizza Inc was £42.3 million (€45.95 million) for the six months ended June 30th, compared with £45.7 million a year earlier.

The company said it expects full-year net debt of £220 million (€238 million) to £230 million (€249 million). In 2018, the company’s net debt stood at £203.3 million (€220.5 million).

– Additional reporting: Reuters