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McDonald's same-store sales fall in February

McDonald's same-store sales fall in February

Company points to difficult prior-year comparisons

McDonald’s Corp. reported a 1.5-percent global same-store sales decrease for February, which included a 3.2-percent negative calendar shift when accounting for a 29th operating day for Leap Year last February.

Excluding the calendar shift, global same-store sales would have risen 1.7 percent, the Oak Brook, Ill.-based company said.

“While February’s results reflect difficult prior-year comparisons, we remain confident in the fundamental strength of McDonald’s business," president and chief executive Don Thompson said in a statement. "We have the operating experience to manage through the current challenging environment and the right strategies in place to grow the business for the long term.”

In the United States, same-store sales decreased 3.3 percent, lapping last year’s 11.1-percent gain that benefited from Leap Day and unseasonably warm weather. Excluding the calendar shift, the chain’s domestic same-store sales would have been flat this past February.

Same-store sales declined 0.5 percent in Europe, but would have risen 2.7 percent, excluding the calendar shift. They fell 1.6 percent in the Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa, or APMEA, division. McDonald’s said its APMEA sales would have increased 1.5 percent, excluding last February’s 29th day, but the company added that this year’s sales also benefited from the timing of Chinese New Year during February.

In the past five months, as McDonald’s laps difficult comparisons from year-earlier months, when winter weather proved unseasonably warm, global same-store sales were positive only in November 2012, while falling in October, January and February. Global same-store sales were flat in December 2012.

The company’s last onerous comparison to year-earlier same-store sales growth will come in March, as McDonald’s must lap a 7.7-percent global increase from March 2012, during which same-store sales also rose 8 percent in the United States.

Last month, in the United States, McDonald’s credited new value-focused items, like the Grilled Onion Cheddar burger and the Hot ‘n Spicy McChicken, as well as its strong sellers for Lenten season, the Filet-O-Fish and Fish McBites, for maintaining adjusted flat sales against last year’s robust performance.

The company pointed to continued strong performance in the United Kingdom and Russia once again for driving results in Europe. Meanwhile, in APMEA, continued soft sales in Japan offset positive results in China and Australia, the company said.

McDonald’s operates or franchises more than 34,000 restaurants around the world, including more than 14,000 in the United States.

Contact Mark Brandau at [email protected].
Follow him on Twitter: @Mark_from_NRN

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