LONDON Feb 27 Britain's biggest pizza delivery
company, Domino's Pizza, said it had made a strong start
to 2014 as it posted an expected small rise in annual profit.
The company, which has almost 800 UK stores and much smaller
operations in Germany, Switzerland and Ireland, on Thursday said
2013 pretax profit rose 1.9 percent to 47.6 million pounds
($79.2 million), as higher losses in its fledgling German arm
offset gains in its home market.
Sales rose 14 percent to 668.8 million pounds, with
like-for-like sales growth of 7.0 percent in 670 UK mature
Domino's expansion woes in Germany, which relate to higher
than expected labour costs that have forced back its break even
target to 2017, contributed to a rocky second half of 2013, when
the group was also hit by surprise news its finance chief Lee
Ginsberg and chief executive Lance Batchelor were both quitting.
Domino's booked pre-tax exceptional costs of 27.5 million
pounds of which 26.5 million related to impairments and other
exceptional charges within the German business.
The group said on Thursday sales momentum had continued,
rising 14.6 percent at its UK stores open over a year in the
first seven weeks of its new fiscal year.
Last month Domino's named former Halfords boss David
Wild as its interim chief executive following Batchelor's
decision to leave for travel and insurance group Saga in March.
Shares in the firm, a master franchisee of U.S. group
Domino's Pizza Inc, closed at 556.5 pence on Wednesday,
up 7 percent over the last year and valuing the business at 916
million pounds. ($1 = 0.6011 British pounds)