StockMarketWire.com - Domino's Pizza said profits fell by more than quarter as group system sales were held back by weaker performance in international markets. The company also announced that David Wild, Group Chief Executive Officer, planned to retire.

For the six months ended 30 June, statutory pre-tax profits fell 26.9% to £30.5m as group system sales rose 4.7% to £645.8m.

Its international segment reported total sales of £49.8m, down 3.4% from a year earlier, and its UK and Republic of Ireland segment reported sales growth of £596m, up 5.5% a year earlier.

UK like-for-like sales (excluding splits) up 3.9% and Republic of Ireland like-for-like sales (excluding splits) were up 6.9%.

The company said new store openings and some working practices were being impacted whilst active discussions with its UK & Ireland franchisees continued, stressing that it remained committed to 'finding sustainable, win-win solutions but anticipate that resolution will take time, likely into 2020.' ROI system sales were up 7.4%; with like-for-like sales up 6.8% and online sales up 18.5%.

The company opened 13 stores in H1, of which seven were in the UK, taking the group total to 1,272. The interim dividend was raised by 3.7% to 4.20p and the company said that no further share purchases were expected in the second half.

Looking ahead, the company said it to spend £25m to £30m in 2019, including £8m on International, with full-year net debt expected to be between £220m and £230m.

'Our core UK and Republic of Ireland markets delivered a good performance, with system sales up 5.5% and underlying operating profit up 7.1%,' said David Wild, Group Chief Executive Officer. '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. Iceland profitability was impacted by the weak macro-economic backdrop.'



At 8:04am: [LON:DOM] Dominos Pizza Group PLC share price was +7.8p at 241.6p



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