* Domino's FY underlying net profit up 50 percent to $42.4
* Company focusing on growing online sales
* Expanding in Japan, Europe, Australia
(Recasts, adds details on online sales, forecasts)
By Jane Wardell and Thuy Ong
SYDNEY, Aug 12 Australia's Domino's Pizza
Enterprises Ltd, the largest franchisee for the brand
in the world, is banking on online orders to help it achieve 20
percent earnings growth this financial year after they lifted
net profits by half a year ago.
Orders via social media, apps and its websites accounted for
60 percent of total annual sales in the year that ended June
2014, the company said on Tuesday, helping drive full-year
underlying net profit after tax up 50 percent to A$45.8 million
The company comprises Domino's Australia and New Zealand
restaurants and last year bought a controlling stake in Domino's
Japanese franchise. It also runs restaurants in France, Belgium
and the Netherlands.
This year, Domino's Pizza Enterprises (DPE) expects online
orders to grow to 80 percent of sales. It currently offers
online ordering in Japan, Australia and New Zealand, and the
roll-out of the online system in Europe is due to be completed
by June 2015.
Chief Executive Don Meij said sales reports from all regions
in the first five weeks of the current 2014/15 financial year
suggest the company is on track to achieve higher growth.
"We are confident of continuing the current strong momentum
to deliver EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation
and amortisation) growth in the region of 20 percent and add
approximately 175-185 new stores to the group," he said in the
DPE's strong performance contrasts with rival McDonald's
Corp, which last week reported a steeper-than-expected
2.5 percent fall in global sales in July and singled out
Australia and Japan as poorly performing key markets.
DPE's revenue in 2013/14 doubled to A$588.7 million, lifted
by the acquisition of a 75 percent stake in the Japanese
Domino's shares surged as much as 12.8 percent to A$24.25
after the earnings were released, outperforming a 1.3 percent
gain in the S&P/ASX 200 index.
DPE says it is the leader in Australia's A$3.5 billion a
year pizza market, which is the world's third largest outside
the United States.
In Australia, DPE said it intends to open 900 restaurants in
the 2015 financial year, 100 more than it initially targeted.
In Japan, the company has boosted marketing and is moving
stores to upmarket locations to entice customers seeking to
upgrade their fast-food dining experience.
DPE earlier this year appointed Jack Cowin, the owner of
Australian Burger King franchise Hungry Jacks, as
Morningstar equities analyst Daniel Mueller said pizza was a
rapidly growing, attractive category within the fast food
sector, adding that his brokerage had an exemplary rating on
($1 = 1.0792 Australian dollar)
(Editing by Miral Fahmy)