Domino's Pizza Group reported a decrease in meal deliveries in the third quarter, attributing the decline to customers cutting back on ordering in the face of increased living costs. The company,

which owns, operates, and franchises Domino's stores in Britain and Ireland, revealed a 3.7% increase in like-for-like system sales during the third quarter. However, total orders dipped by 1.2% to 16.7 million, causing a drop of up to 6.7% in the company's stock shares during morning trade.

The group implemented price hikes on its products to offset higher costs, but customers, affected by multiple interest rate hikes and a slowing economy, curtailed discretionary spending.

"While we anticipate inflation stabilizing in the coming year, our focus will be on sustained customer and order growth, as well as ensuring franchisee profitability," stated Andrew Rennie, the recently appointed Chief Executive.

As a franchisee of U.S.-based Domino's Pizza Inc, the company noted that total orders rebounded in the fourth quarter, leading to the reaffirmation of its underlying core profit outlook for the year. The company expects underlying core profit to range between £132 million and £138 million.

Shares of Domino's Pizza Group, listed on the FTSE 250 index, experienced a 6.1% decline to 348 pence at 0920 GMT, while the index itself decreased by 0.3%. Photo by Michael Barera, Wikimedia commons.