January 17, 2019 / 8:50 AM / in 6 months

UPDATE 1-Domino's Pizza operator in Turkey, Russia lifted by new outlets

(Adds details, background)

Jan 17 (Reuters) - DP Eurasia, which runs the Domino’s Pizza brand in Turkey and Russia, said on Thursday its 2018 system sales rose by 30.9 percent thanks to the opening of new outlets.

The company’s system sales, which comprise corporate and franchise, rose to 1.13 billion Turkish lira ($211 million), helped by like-for-like growth of 9.3 percent in Turkey and 16 percent in Russia.

The pizza firm added 81 new stores in 2018, including 58 new ones in Russia, bringing its network to 724 stores.

It targets 40-60 stores per year in Russia in mid-term and branched out to 12 cities outside Moscow.

“Russia has seen store expansion well ahead of expectations and this is franchise driven which provides confidence for the long-term target”, Wayne Brown, Liberum analyst said.

The pizza firm said it expects full year 2018 adjusted EBITDA to be in line with expectations.($1 = 5.3682 liras)

DP Eurasia is on its way to eliminating its Turkish net debt, Chief Executive Officer, Aslan Saranga said.

Liberum said that as much as half the Turkish debt could have been retired over the last six months, which could lead to a 65 percent upgrade to future earnings.

DP Eurasia’s stock had not traded at 0844 GMT. It lost more than 50 percent of its value last year, amid economic headwinds at two of its main markets. The Turkish lira depreciated by nearly 30 percent last year. (Reporting by Kateryna Urbanek Editing by Alexander Smith)

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