Domino's hires CFO as U.S. sales slump

ANN ARBOR Mich. Whataburger veteran Wendy A. Beck was named chief financial officer of Domino's Pizza Inc. on Tuesday, as the company reported first quarter earnings that rose, but still fell short of expectations.

Beck succeeds David Mounts, who was promoted last September to executive vice president of supply chain services. She most recently was CFO, senior vice president and treasurer of Corpus Christi, Texas-based Whataburger.

Also on Tuesday, Domino's reported that its net income for its first quarter ended March 23 surged 68 percent to $14.1 million, or 23 cents per share, compared with $8.4 million, or 13 cents per share, for the year-ago first quarter. Domino's first-quarter earnings fell short of the average 24 cents per share predicted by analysts polled by Thomson Financial.

Excluding increased interest expense from a 2007 recapitalization, Domino's per-share earnings for the 2008 first quarter would have been 21 cents, down from 38 cents a year ago, the company said.

The company said domestic systemwide same-store sales fell 5.2 percent, while international same-store sales rose 8.8 percent.

Corporate revenue slipped slightly, to $339.0 million, from $339.3 million a year ago, Domino's reported.

Domino's cited "continued challenges in the domestic environment" for the sluggish sales. David Brandon, chairman and CEO, said the company would continue to push value-priced offerings while developing menu items for dayparts other than dinner.

Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Domino's operates or franchises 8,641 units worldwide, including 5,128 domestic units.