Pizza delivery company Domino's Pizza said it had made a strong start to 2014 as it posted an expected small rise in annual profit.
The company, which has almost 800 UK stores and much smaller operations in Germany, Switzerland and Ireland, said its 2013 pre-tax profit rose 1.9% to £47.6m, as higher losses in its fledgling German arm offset gains in its home market.
Sales rose 14% to £668.8m, with like-for-like sales growth of 7% in 670 UK stores.
Domino's expansion woes in Germany, which relate to higher than expected labour costs that have forced back its break even target to 2017, contributed to a rocky second half of 2013.
The group was also hit by surprise news that its finance chief Lee Ginsberg and chief executive Lance Batchelor were both quitting.
Domino's booked pre-tax exceptional costs of £27.5m of which £26.5m related to impairments and other exceptional charges within the German business.
The group said today that sales momentum had continued, rising 14.6% at its UK stores open over a year in the first seven weeks of its new fiscal year.
Last month Domino's named former Halfords boss David Wild as its interim chief executive following Batchelor's decision to leave for travel and insurance group Saga in March.