Severe weather stalls McDonald's

by Monica Watrous
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OAK BROOK, ILL. — Severe winter weather stalled sales in January for McDonald’s Corp., which reported a 3.3% decline in U.S. comparable performance for the month. Still, the fast-food chain managed a 1.2% increase globally on strength in international markets.

Despite promoting the breakfast menu and Dollar Menu & More value options in the United States during the month, McDonald’s couldn’t overcome impacts of bad weather and ongoing macroeconomic challenges. Efforts to improve results focus on customer engagement, menu options and operations initiatives.

Europe comparable sales grew 2% as positive results in the United Kingdom and France offset negative performance in Germany. More menu variety, everyday value and day part expansion helped boost results in the region.

Comparable sales in Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa advanced 5.4%, driven by strength in China, which benefitted from calendar shifts and prior-year comparison, as well as solid results in Japan, Australia and other markets. Contributing to gains in the region was a focus on convenient and affordable options tailored to local tastes and lifestyles.

System-wide sales for the month rose 0.6%, or 3.9% in constant currencies.

“Throughout the McDonald’s system we are committed to elevating the customer experience and enhancing our customers’ relationship with our brand,” said Don Thompson, president and chief executive officer. “We are intent on improving our performance by building on our customer-driven strategies and the fundamental strengths of our proven business model.”
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