(Reuters) - Domino's Pizza Group Plc said on Thursday third-quarter sales across its stores in the UK and Ireland fell, as demand took a hit from higher taxes and fewer people ordered in amid a lack of big-ticket events.
However, excluding VAT rates, like-for-like sales rose 2.4%, while overall sales were still above pre-pandemic levels.
The company, a franchisee of U.S.-based Domino's Pizza Inc, also reiterated its full-year core profit expectation of 125 million pounds to 135 million pounds ($142.3 million to $153.6 million), after sales picked up in the first six weeks of the fourth quarter.
"...We're looking forward to our busiest weeks of the year with the men's football World Cup and the festive season to come," Interim Chief Executive Officer Elias Diaz Sese said.
The company added that current-quarter sales were partly buoyed by its initial rollout on food delivery platform Just Eat, which would now be made available widely.
The London-listed firm also announced a share buyback of 20 million pounds after it exercised an option to sell its investment in Germany and improve its cash position.
Overall system sales in the third quarter fell 8.3% to 344.7 million pounds.
($1 = 0.8787 pounds)
(Reporting by Prerna Bedi in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Uttaresh.V)