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ANN ARBOR, Mich.—Strong sales in Domino's Pizza's international markets boosted lackluster domestic sales for the first quarter of 2004, ended March 21.

According to a news release, during the period, systemwide sales increased 6.8 percent, comprised of a 6.4 percent same-store sales increase (on a constant-dollar basis) in Domino's international units, and a 0.9 percent comp-store sales decrease in its domestic units. In the U.S., franchise store comps dropped 0.8 percent, and company-store comps slid 1.6 percent.

Net income was $18.4 million on revenue of $318.8 million and systemwide sales of $1.04 billion. Income from operations increased $400,000 for a first quarter-record $43.5 million.

The company added a net 46 units to the chain during the period, for a systemwide total of 7,473 units.

Domino's Chairman and CEO David Brandon said he was proud of the company's overall performance during a challenging period.

"Food costs and other operational costs rose significantly during the first quarter, led by increases in cheese prices," Brandon said in the release.

In the company's 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Domino's warned that record-high cheese prices are likely to hurt profits in the upcoming quarter. Though many of its franchisees have increased menu prices to counter rising cheese costs, its company stores have not.

Read related Domino's stories by clicking here.

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