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ANN ARBOR, MI-Domino’s Pizza’s sales took a hit during the company’s third quarter, due to what the company’s top executive calls a “general softness in consumer spending.” Domestic same-store sales were down 3.1% year over year, while total revenues fell 3.2%, to $326.7 million.

“We didn’t wake up one morning and forget how to operate,” said David Brandon, Domino’s chairman and chief executive officer, during the company’s quarterly conference call. “We’re just in a market where traffic is very hard to come by for everyone.”

In fact, some of the chain’s competitors are having a rougher time, he says. “Pizza Hut has struggled far more than we have in the environment,” Brandon says. However, he acknowledges that Papa John’s is currently the leader in the national, pizza-delivery environment.

International sales were a bright spot for Domino’s quarter, which ended Sept. 10. Same-store sales were up 3% overseas year over year. Overall, the company and franchisees operate just over 8,200 units in the US and about 50 other countries.

Domino’s opened 293 new units during the quarter, 219 of which were international. With store closures taken into account over the period, Domino’s had a total of 48 net new units. Management plans to open just under 300 units during the fourth quarter.

Second-quarter net income, at just over $24.5 million, was up 20.9% during the period. Some of the spike was due to the sale of company-owned stores in France and the Netherlands to its master franchisee for Australia and New Zealand, resulting in a $2.8-million gain.

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