McD’s comps continue to surge

OAK BROOK Ill. McDonald’s Corp. reported on Thursday another global surge in monthly same-store sales, which it said was driven by strong results in all of its regions. Sales in the United States were boosted by value-centric menu items, breakfast offerings and late-night operating hours, McDonald’s said.

Globally, same-store sales increased 6.9 percent in October, versus the same month a year ago, and U.S. same-store sales increased 5.4 percent. In Europe, same-store sales rose 6.4 percent for the month, helped primarily by sales in France, the United Kingdom and Russia, the company said. In McDonald’s Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa region, same-store sales rose 9.4 percent.

Most securities analysts who follow Oak Brook, Ill.-based McDonald’s said strong sales for the chain of more than 30,000 restaurants worldwide are expected to continue through 2009, even with the tough economic environment that most restaurants are operating in. Analyst John Ivankoe at J.P. Morgan said McDonald’s continued new product development — with new items including the Breakfast Burrito expected for release later this month, a possible Southern Chicken sandwich next year and the probable expanded rollout of the Angus Third Pounders — will continue to drive traffic. Increased guest transactions, along with an expected price increase, will boost sales further, he said.

October systemwide sales for McDonald’s increased 14.2 percent from a year ago, or 8.2 percent when excluding foreign-currency exchange fluctuations.