Domino's profit rises, boosted by new pan pizzas

Domino's Pizza Inc , the second-largest U.S. pizza chain, on Thursday reported quarterly profit above Wall Street's view as U.S. restaurant sales beat expectations with help from its new pan pizzas.

The results from Domino's landed at a time when a bevy of U.S. operators, including Burger King Worldwide Inc and Olive Garden parent Darden Restaurants Inc , have warned that the U.S. payroll tax increase, higher gas prices and delayed federal tax returns are taking a bite out of spending on meals away from home.

Net income at Domino's rose 22 percent to $37.6 million, or 64 cents per share during the fourth quarter.

Analysts, on average, had expected Domino's to report a profit of 60 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue increased almost 8 percent to $539.7 million.

Sales at stores open at least one year rose 4.7 percent in the United States - more than expected and helped by the introduction of pan pizza. International same-restaurant sales increased 5.2 percent.

Domino's competes with Yum Brands Inc's Pizza Hut chain and Papa John's International Inc .

Shares in the company, which also announced a quarterly dividend on Thursday, were up 2.2 percent to $47.88 in midday trading.

(Reporting By Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles; Editing by Kenneth Barry)