Fast food giant McDonald's Corp. (MCD: Quote) announced Friday that sales at established stores grew 3.3 percent in May, amid continued strong U.S. sales amid demand for its new breakfast offerings.
However, sales growth fell short of market expectations due to lower sales in Asia and ongoing economic uncertainty in Europe.
Looking ahead, the company warned that austerity measures in Europe as well as commodity and labor cost pressures will impact second-quarter results.
McDonald's has recently been focusing on modernizing their restaurants to create an ambiance akin to upscale fast food joints such as Chipotle and Panera Bread.
"Our commitment to providing customers with menu variety, value and convenience delivered global comparable sales growth in May despite the increasingly challenging global economic environment," CEO Jim Skinner said in a statement.
The Oak Brook, Illinois-based hamburger chain's May global comparable sales growth of 3.3 percent was on top of a 3.1 percent increase in the same month a year ago. The comparable sales measure excludes the impact of currency translation. However, the growth trailed Street estimates that called for a 4.6 percent growth.
Comparable sales represent sales at all restaurants, whether operated by the company or by franchisees, in operation at least thirteen months including those temporarily closed,
The world's largest restaurant chain said system-wide sales or sales at all restaurants (whether operated by the company or by its franchisees) increased 1.2 percent for its restaurants worldwide or 5.6 percent in constant currencies.
Geographically, May comparable sales in the US grew 4.4 percent, compared to prior year's 2.4 percent rise. US system-wide sales also increased 5.3 percent for the month.
Sales in the US region were boosted primarily by the continued strength of McDonald's popular breakfast choices amid the launch of the seasonal Blueberry Banana Nut Oatmeal, as well as the new McCafe beverage favorites like the Cherry Berry Chiller. Classic core favorites such as Chicken McBites, Filet-O-Fish, and signature beverages also drove results.
In Europe, comparable sales grew 2.9 percent, which was higher compared to a 2.3 percent increase last year.
However, Europe's system-wide sales for the month declined 4.2 percent from last year on a reported basis, but increased 5.7 percent in constant currencies.
Comparable sales in Asia/Pacific decreased 1.7 percent, compared to prior year's growth of 4.3 percent. Weakness in Japan and China was partially offset by positive results in Australia.
MCD closed Thursday's regular trading session at $88.38, down $1.22 on a volume of 8.32 million shares. In the past 52-week period, the stock has been trading in a range of $80.28 to $102.22.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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