Domino's sales fail to deliver
Domino's Pizza revealed a further slowdown in sales growth today after a double digit plunge in stricken Ireland offset gains in the UK.
The company said like-for-like sales in its 48 stores in the Irish Republic reduced by 10.5pc in the 13 weeks to March 27, while its stores in the UK saw sales increase by 5.5pc.
Domino's shares dropped 8pc after the group, which has 672 stores in the UK and Ireland, said overall like-for-like sales growth had fallen to 4.2pc from 10.5pc a year ago.
Earlier this year Domino's revealed that sales in the first seven weeks of its financial year had slowed to 4.7pc, bringing an end to its run of double digit growth, but today's figures represent a further worsening in trading.
The group also warned that future growth is likely to be impacted as it comes up against tougher comparatives in the next quarter.
Its Ireland business is being hit by a clampdown in consumer spending as the country suffers amid tough economic woes.
Today's results are the first time it has provided separated sales figures for the UK and Ireland in a bid to show investors that the UK business, which represents 93pc of sales, is still in growth.
Total store sales increased 11.2pc to £132.3m.
But Domino's claimed it was well placed to deal with the challenging environment, with plans to open new stores and fresh marketing initiatives up its sleeve.
The group opened eight stores in the quarter and said it is on target to open 60 in the full-year.
The group's strong growth last year was helped by the introduction of its Two For Tuesday buy-one-get-one-free promotion a year ago.
It also benefited from the World Cup last summer, as football fans ordered a pizza to watch the game in front of the television, while the snow and hit TV shows such as The X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing provided a boost to takeaway demand at the end of 2010.