LOUISVILLE, KY-Papa John’s International is focusing its store growth next year on foreign markets as the pizza chain cuts back on its domestic unit expansion. Of the 160 to 190 new locations the company plans in 2008, two-thirds will open in other countries.

Next year’s expansion plans are lower than the 225 to 250 units planned for 2007. This year’s new stores were split half and half between domestic and foreign stores. As of last month, the company operated 3,139 restaurants, 412 of them international.

Papa John’s predicts similar domestic same-store sales growth in the coming year, forecasting an increase of between 1.25% and 2.75% year over year. This year’s increase was seen coming in from 1.5% to 2.5%.

Management has reaffirmed its earnings-per-share guidance for this year of between $1.64 and $1.68, down from $1.92 in 2006. EPS for next year is predicted to come in from $1.68 to $1.76.

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