Domino's Pizza has been the worst performer in the FTSE 250 so far today after its posted a slowdown in like-for-like sales in its key UK business.
Like-for-like growth at the takeway giant's UK store base grew 3.9 per cent to £220.9m in the 13 weeks to 25 September. In the same period of last year, like-for-like sales rose 14.9 per cent. Overall system sales in the UK rose 10.5 per cent.
In the Republic of Ireland, like-for-likes also slowed down, growing by 7.6 per cent to €14.9m (£13.5m) in the third quarter of 2016 compared to a 14.1 per cent uplift in the same period of last year.
In Switzerland, Domino's posted flat growth this year at 4.8m Swiss francs, compared to 5.8 per cent in 2015.
Domino's opened 21 new stores in the third quarter and has launched 51 new branches in the year to date.
The group's share price was down 5.5 per cent in afternoon trading to 352.4p.
Why it's interesting
Domino's reiterated it is facing "some very tough comparators" in the second half of the year, though the group has highlighted a boost in sales through digital channels - up 18.1 per cent in the third quarter - as a silver lining.
More than 81 per cent of its sales in the year to date have been online, with 64 per cent placed through the app or mobile website.
The company said that while the comparatives "remain challenging", it is confident its full-year results will be in line with expectations and has raised its UK openings expectations from 70 to 80 new outlets in 2016.
What Domino's said
Chief executive David Wild said:
The business continues to trade well with a strong sales uplift across the group during the period.
As highlighted at our interim results in July, we face tough comparatives in the second half of the year, but our continued investment in e-commerce, our international expansion and the launch of our new Italiano range taking us to new customers, will help to drive performance for the remainder of the year.
Our new store programme provides a strong platform for future growth.