Domino’s Pizza has seen UK sales growth more than halve after “evident uncertainty” among customers and the summer heatwave took its toll.
The pizza delivery giant said UK like-for-like sales rose 2.2% in the 13 weeks to September 30, following growth of 4.7% in the previous three months.
It said third-quarter like-for-like orders by number fell 1.4% in the UK, but this was offset by a 3.6% rise in tickets as the number of items rose 3.1% per order.
Domino’s said it remained on track for 2018 profit forecasts, thanks to a more resilient group performance, with total group system sales up 5.9% to £303.3 million in its third quarter.
David Wild, chief executive of Domino’s Pizza, said: “Our businesses continue to trade well, despite the evident uncertainty among UK consumers, and hot weather across Europe for much of the quarter.”
He added: “In our international operations, we are making good progress on refining the operating model and cost base, and we expect group underlying profit before tax for the 2018 year to be in the middle of the range of market expectations.”
Analysts expect the group to post 2018 underlying profits of between £93 million and £99.6 million.
Domino’s confirmed plans to hire another 5,000 additional Christmas staff across its stores for the busy festive season.
It opened another 20 stores in the UK over the quarter, taking its year-to-date franchise launches to 42 and putting it on track for its target of an extra 60 for the year.
In the UK, online sales rose 11.4% and accounted for more than three quarters – 78.3% – of total sales in the third quarter.
Its international business also saw sales growth in the quarter, up 4.8% to £26 million.
Domino’s now has 1,236 stores group-wide, including 1,087 in the UK.