Domino’s Net Profit After Tax up 23%

( ) Australasian pizza maker Domino’s Pizza Enterprises Limited (DMP) today announced a $12.6 million half year Net Profit After Tax, up 23% on the corresponding period last year.

The robust half year profit was the result of strong core operations which saw the Company achieve Same Store Sales (SSS) growth of 8.4% rolling the 9.1% growth achieved during the same corresponding period last year.

Both the ANZ and European markets experienced solid SSS performance in the first half of the 2012 Financial Year.

The ANZ market achieved SSS growth of 8.7% while the European operations recorded solid SSS growth of 7.5% compared to the first half last year.

Domino’s CEO and MD Don Meij said the strong first half results were supported by successful product launches across both markets and the growth of the Company’s digital business in Australia and New Zealand.

“We have recorded a strong performance for the first half of the 2012 Financial Year, particularly in Australia and New Zealand where we were rolling over very strong numbers from this time last year,” Mr Meij said.

“Our digital business continues to go from strength to strength with more than one third of all online orders now via mobile devices.

“In Europe, Network Sales were up 12.6% on a constant currency basis on the same corresponding period last year as a result of solid momentum which was achieved on the back of strong new product rollouts and other operational initiatives.”

The Company will pay shareholders an interim fully-franked dividend of 13.0 cents per share, up 25.0% on the dividend paid in the corresponding period last year.

The interim dividend will be paid on 12 March 2012 with a record date of 27 February 2012.

Mr Meij said Domino’s continual journey of improving ingredients and use of better quality products resulted in the introduction of healthier menu items during the first 6 months of the 2012 Financial Year.

“We have seen significant results from our focus on improving the quality of pizza ingredients. We introduced free range chicken on our pizzas, took out notable amounts of fat and sodium from some of our most popular ingredients and also improved the overall taste while achieving these results,” Mr Meij said.

“On a digital note, Social media is now bigger than ever for us. On Facebook we have more than 130,000 fans making us one of the biggest Australasian Quick Service Restaurants using the social platform to connect with our customers on a daily basis.”

Across in Europe Mr Meij said the Same Store Sales continued to be strong while it focused on opening more corporate stores in The Netherlands and strengthening the depth of our European management team.

“We have been very pleased with our European results for the first half of 2012. We continued to focus on improving customer value by creating new pizza recipes with higher quality ingredients and it reaped results for us,” Mr Meij said.

“Our corporate store count in The Netherlands has also grown to 15 stores and these stores achieved SSS growth of 22.7%. We have stores across France and The Netherlands achieving new heights in weekly and annual sales.”

Looking forward, Mr Meij said the Company was confident of continuing the current strong momentum across both the markets and as a result was upgrading its 2012 full year guidance.

“Despite some foreseeable labour and economy challenges we are confident of delivering strong same store sales for the rest of the year,” Mr Meij said.

“We are therefore upgrading our EBITDA and NPAT growth for the 2012 full year to be in the region of 20%.

“Product innovation will again make a significant contribution to our business across ANZ and Europe.

We will also see record organic store growth in both Europe and Australia, having a good pipeline of store development in both markets as well as an advanced store refurbishment program in ANZ.”

Today, DMP has a network of 892 stores, including 564 in New Zealand and Australia and 328 across France, Belgium and The Netherlands.

DMP is Australia’s only publicly-listed pizza company and is the master franchisor for the Domino’s Pizza brand in New Zealand, Australia, France, Belgium and The Netherlands.