Challenges continue for McDonald's

by Monica Watrous
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OAK BROOK, ILL. — McDonald’s Corp. reported a 1.8% decline in global comparable sales for January, as the lingering effects of a supplier issue in China continued to weigh on results.

Comparable sales in the United States rose 0.4%, driven by positive performance at breakfast that was largely offset by competitive activity in the marketplace. The fast-food company is focused on regaining momentum in the market by simplifying its national menu while offering options tailored to local consumer preferences.

In Europe, comparable sales increased 0.5% in January as positive results in the United Kingdom and Germany were offset by weakness in France and Russia. Priorities in Europe include strengthening local value platforms, highlighting core and premium products and aggressively pursuing growth opportunities, particularly during the breakfast day part.

For the Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa region, comparable sales in January fell 12.6%, reflecting negative consumer perceptions in Japan and the impact of the supplier issue in China, as well as a shift in timing of the Chinese New Year. McDonald’s is focused on rebuilding customer trust in the market by reinforcing quality and affordability perceptions.

Stronger comparable sales in other regions, including Latin America and Canada, helped boost the company’s global comparable sales performance for the month.

System-wide sales declined 7.9%, or were relatively flat in constant currencies.

At the end of January, the company announced a change in leadership. Steve Easterbrook will be promoted to president and chief executive officer of McDonald’s Corp. on March 1. He will replace Don Thompson, who is stepping down from his roles as president and c.e.o. and a member of the company’s board of directors. Mr. Easterbrook will take his position on the board.
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