Pizza Express profits down during 2018
Pizza Express profits declined in 2018 after a year of challenges in the UK and fierce competition from China.
Group turnover was up 1.6% to £543m, but underlying earnings declined by 15.3%.
The company, which has six restaurants in Belfast, said this was partly down to challenges in some of its less developed international markets, including China where it has been pursuing a major expansion of the brand.
Chairman and chief executive Jinlong Wang said the business faced "intensifying competition from local brands" in China and was focused on adapting to changing consumer demands in the market.
Nevertheless international markets now generate just under 20% of group sales, following the opening of 26 new sites in 2018.
In the UK, higher wages and property costs weighed on profitability amid a devastating year across the casual dining industry.
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