McDonald's sees fewer customers, sales disappoint - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

McDonald's sees fewer customers, sales disappoint

Posted: Updated:
Photo Credit: MGNOnline.com Photo Credit: MGNOnline.com

By CANDICE CHOI
AP Food Industry Writer

NEW YORK (AP) - 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 percent 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 percent.

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 percent globally at established locations and 1.6 percent 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 percent. It fell 2.4 percent 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

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • *UPDATE* Missing juvenile female in Alexandria FOUND

    *UPDATE* Missing juvenile female in Alexandria FOUND

    Thursday, April 24 2014 6:31 PM EDT2014-04-24 22:31:25 GMT
    ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB News Channel 5) - The Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s assistance in locating a missing juvenile. Gabrielle Dubroc is described as a white female, 14 years of age, with brown hair, brown eyes, and is 5’2” tall.More >>
    ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB News Channel 5) - The Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s assistance in locating a missing juvenile. Gabrielle Dubroc is described as a white female, 14 years of age, with brown hair, brown eyes, and is 5’2” tall.More >>
  • New "Swatting" game causes massive police response

    New "Swatting" game causes massive police response

    Thursday, April 24 2014 12:57 PM EDT2014-04-24 16:57:42 GMT
    LONG BEACH, N.Y. (CBS News) - Police descended upon a home in Long Island, N.Y. Tuesday after receiving a 911 call from a man who said he had shot several of his relatives inside the house.More >>
    LONG BEACH, N.Y. (CBS News) - Police descended upon a home in Long Island, N.Y. Tuesday after receiving a 911 call from a man who said he had shot several of his relatives inside the house.More >>
  • Woman allegedly attacked boyfriend with ax, went after neighbors

    Woman allegedly attacked boyfriend with ax, went after neighbors

    Thursday, April 24 2014 12:50 PM EDT2014-04-24 16:50:25 GMT
    LUNENBURG, Mass. (CBS News) - A Massachusetts woman has been arrested after she allegedly attacked her boyfriend with an ax before also going after the couple across the street, reports CBS Boston.More >>
    LUNENBURG, Mass. (CBS News) - A Massachusetts woman has been arrested after she allegedly attacked her boyfriend with an ax before also going after the couple across the street, reports CBS Boston.More >>
Powered by WorldNow
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KALB. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.