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Domino's profits fall despite record UK sales

Domino's Pizza has delivered a 2% fall in annual profits despite growing sales in a tough UK market.
Chief executive David Wild said demand cooled after three years of strong expansion as a squeeze on UK incomes forced customers to be "cautious and value conscious".
Pre-tax profit for 2017 slipped to €81.2m, largely due to one-off accounting costs, while group sales surged 15% to €1.2bn.But UK growth was slower than the previous year and the group's plans to add up to 75 new stores in 2018 is lower than the expansion seen in 2017. Shares rose 2.6% by the close of trading.Mr Wild said: "The UK market moderated this year, after three years of very strong like-for-like growth."Consumers were more cautious and value conscious, and incomes were squeezed as wage inflation lagged broader cost inflation."Mr Wild said the group had seen a poor performance of its "Winter Survival Deal" compared to previous years.But he added that overall sales improved in spite of this, as budget-conscious consumers increasingly turned to takeaways rather than eating out.
He said: "There's no doubt that the first thing you cut down on is eating out when you have less money to spend."With Domino's, you don't need to cook and you can also save on alcohol."The eating-at-home market is buoyant because of economic pressures on consumers."Domino's said UK like-for-like sales were up 7.1% in the first eight weeks of 2018, accelerating compared with the growth seen over 2017.The results come as restaurants in the casual dining sector such as Byron, Prezzo and Jamie's Italian have fallen prey to the squeeze on consumers - forcing a series of closures.
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Domino's UK sales were helped by 95 new store openings in 2017 and it plans to open a further 65 to 75 stores this year, with an overall target of 1,600 stores.Domino also plans to open a 117,000 sq ft production, storage and distribution centre in Warrington this year.
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