Domino’s Pizza sales have been stable during the coronavirus pandemic but an improved performance from some Aussie stores has been cancelled out by a greater number calling for assistance.

The company on Friday said same-store sales for Australia remained consistent at a national level since the outbreak but this reflected both positive and negative sales trends at individual outlets.

Domino’s said a greater number of stores had required short-term assistance than during an ordinary period, where sales growth was more evenly distributed across the business.

COVID-19 will also delay the opening of stores that were planned for FY20.

The company said some stores were, however, hiring more team members to reflect changing consumer behaviour amid coronavirus restrictions as customers replace takeaway meals with zero-contact delivery.

Domino’s is preparing to reopen its New Zealand network next week when restrictions are eased there and has advertised for an additional 1,000 delivery drivers in expectation of customers opting for delivery over takeaway.

Domino’s France has been progressively reopening, with about 70 per cent of stores now trading.

The company said its stores in Japan and Germany had maintained their strong sales performance since the first-half result.

Domino’s lifted HY20 profit 29.8 per cent to $69.2 million following strong online delivery sales and a record number of stores opening worldwide, and put an increased interim dividend in shareholders’ pockets.

Domino’s – sticking to its policy of not providing short-term guidance – on Friday maintained its medium-term outlook of a 7.0 per cent to 9.0 per cent increase in new store openings per year, a 3.0 per cent to 6.0 per cent increase in same store sales per year, and a net capex spend of between $60 million to 100 million per year.

Domino’s Pizza Enterprises’ ASX-listed shares were worth $49.64 before trade on Friday and have fallen by just 5.2 per cent in 2020 against a 22 per cent fall for the benchmark ASX/200.

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