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Domino’s Eyes International Expansion as Sales Abroad Climb

Domino’s Eyes International Expansion
An employee passes a food container at a Domino's Pizza outlet operated by Domino's Pizza in London. Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

Domino’s Pizza Inc., whose stock rose to its highest level today in four years, plans to open up to 300 shops a year after reporting a rise in same-store sales overseas.

Domino’s will have a larger presence internationally than in the U.S. in about 18 months, Chief Executive Officer J. Patrick Doyle said in a telephone interview.

“We are verging on being a bigger international brand than domestic brand,” he said.

Domino’s, which has 4,900 stores in the U.S. and 4,400 international locations, will open as many as 300 stores a year over the long-term, with most being in overseas markets, Doyle said. Britain is the Ann Arbor, Michigan-based pizza chain’s largest market outside the U.S. in store count and sales, he said.

Same-store sales in the first quarter rose 8.3 percent at international locations, the company said today in a statement. For the three months ended March 27, net income rose 11 percent to $27.1 million, or 43 cents a share, compared with $24.5 million, or 41 cents, a year earlier. Analysts were expecting 35 cents.

Domino’s jumped $2.10, or 11 percent, to $21.30 at 4:15 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading, the highest since May 2007. The shares have gained 34 percent this year.

Pizza Hut, which is owned by Yum! Brands Inc., is the biggest pizza chain based on the total number of stores.

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