Pizza Express profits have declined in 2018 due to fierce competition in China and and a year of challenges in the UK.
The groups turnover was up by 1.6% to £543m however, underlying earnings dropped by 15.3%.
Jinlong Wang, chairman and chief executive said the business has faced “intensifying competition from local brands” in China and they are adapting to consumer demands.
International markets generate almost 20% of the group sales as they opened 26 new sites last year.
High property costs and higher wages in the UK has weighed heavily on profit and the casual dining industry has had a devastating year.
Zoe Bowley, managing director for Pizza Express in the UK and Ireland, told the Press Association, “Certainly, the cost pressures that we’ve seen in the last couple of years have been really tough.
“I think what it forces you to do is appraise your business model and understand how you can take appropriate costs out.”
Wang said, “Looking forward, whilst we expect both the UK and international markets to remain competitive we are confident that our focus on customer-led innovation and investment in our brand and our people will put us in a strong position to succeed in this environment and continue to deliver a resilient performance.”