Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content
Editorial News
Business
Classified Sites

The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

McDonald's profit edges up despite slowdown in customer traffic

In this Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, photo, cars drive past the McDonald's Golden Arches logo at a McDonald's restaurant in Robinson Township, Pa. McDonald's reports quarterly earnings on Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Enlarge Image

In this Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, photo, cars drive past the McDonald's Golden Arches logo at a McDonald's restaurant in Robinson Township, Pa. McDonald's reports quarterly earnings on Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

NEW YORK, N.Y. - McDonald's reported disappointing quarterly sales Thursday as fewer customers visited the world's biggest hamburger chain.

The Oak Brook, Ill.-based company says global sales slipped 0.1 per cent at established locations for the last three months of the year. In the U.S., where it recently revamped its Dollar Menu to include items that cost a little more, the figure fell 1.4 per cent.

After outperforming its rivals for years, McDonald's Corp. is facing a mix of challenges, including a shift in eating habits toward foods people feel are fresher or healthier. CEO Don Thompson has been working to better reflect those tastes by adding options such as chicken wraps and egg whites for its breakfast sandwiches.

But the efforts have yet to take hold. In a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company said it has seen a "muted response" to its various promotions.

For 2013, guest counts fell 1.9 per cent globally at established locations and 1.6 per cent in the U.S., according to the filing.

McDonald's is also facing heightened competition from old rivals such as Burger King and Wendy's, and all three chains have been aggressively promoting their value menus to fight for customers.

To address concerns that the focus on value could eat into profit margins, McDonald's in early November updated its decade-old Dollar Menu. The "Dollar Menu & More" now includes items that cost around $2 and $5.

During the quarter, McDonald's said customers on average spent more per visit. But global comparable sales were dragged down by the decline in guest counts.

In Europe, sales at locations open at least a year rose 1 per cent. It fell 2.4 per cent for the unit encompassing Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

The figure is a key metric because it strips out the volatility of newly opened and closed locations.

For January, McDonald's expects the figure to be flat and says the challenges it's facing will persist in the year ahead.

For the quarter, McDonald's Corp. earned $1.4 billion, or $1.40 per share, which is a penny more than Wall Street expected. A year ago, it earned $1.39 billion, or $1.38 per share.

The opening of new locations helped lift revenue to $7.09 billion. But it was still shy of the $7.1 billion analysts expected.

The company plans to open between 1,500 and 1,600 new restaurants in 2014, adding to its more than 34,000 locations worldwide.

Shares of McDonald's edged up 36 cents to $95.24.

___

Follow Candice Choi at www.twitter.com/candicechoi

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 0 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on brandonsun.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

There are no comments at the moment. Be the first to post a comment below.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

Comment
  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun Business Directory
Submit a Random Act of Kindness
Why Not Minot?
Welcome to Winnipeg

Social Media

Canadian Mortgage Rates