Global burger giant McDonald’s reported sales growth in its European region operations, but lower results relative to a year ago in North American and Asia-Pacific regions in its February sales report released yesterday.
Overall global comparable sales decreased 0.3 percent in February, compared with this time last year.
In the company’s US division, comparable same-store sales (omitting new businesses established in the past 12 months) were down 1.4pc In February. The McDonald’s statement to shareholders said this was due to challenging industry dynamics and severe winter weather across North America, curbing consumers’ desire to eat out.
The Europe region was in positive territory, up 0.6pc in sales on February 2013 as a result of continued strong performance in the UK and positive results in France largely offset by ongoing weakness in Germany.
McDonald’s diverse Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa (APMEA) region, including Australia, was worst-hit, with February sales falling 2.6pc on year-ago figures. The result was explained by weakness in Japan, negative results in Australia and to a lesser extent, a shift in timing of Chinese New Year.
Calendar year to date, McDonald’s global operations are up just 0.5pc on 2013.
“We are diligently focused on strengthening our performance, however our relatively flat year-to-date global comparable sales will pressure margins in the first quarter,” said McDonald's chief financial officer Pete Bensen.
“Looking ahead, we believe that we are taking the right actions to more clearly align with our customers' needs and build momentum to drive long-term profitable growth.”
McDonald’s serves around 70 million customers worldwide each day. Australia is a major supplier of ground beef into the company’s Asia-Pacific, Middle East and North American operations.