Key McDonald's sales figure up in November
A McDonald's drive-through is seen in this file photo. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
The Associated Press
Published Monday, December 10, 2012 11:59AM EST
NEW YORK -- McDonald's Corp. said Monday that a key sales figure rose in November, as U.S. customers snapped up the world's biggest hamburger chain's breakfast offerings and limited-time Cheddar Bacon Onion sandwiches.
The increase follows a decline in October, the first drop in McDonald's key monthly sales gauge in nearly a decade.
Investors sent McDonald's shares up 2.2 per cent in premarket trading on Monday.
The company, based in Oak Brook, Ill., said that its global sales at restaurants open at least thirteen months rose 2.4 per cent for the month ended Nov. 30. The figure is a key metric because it strips out the impact of newly opened and closed locations.
The figure rose 2.5 per cent in the U.S., boosted by popularity of breakfast options, its value menu and limited-time Cheddar Bacon Onion sandwiches.
The figure rose 1.4 per cent in Europe, where it gets 40 per cent of its business, as strength in the U.K., Russia and other markets were offset by weakness in Germany.
In the region encompassing Asia, the Middle East and Africa, it edged up 0.6 per cent, hurt by results in Japan.
Systemwide sales, which includes sales at all restaurants, rose 3.2 per cent.
After years of outperforming its rivals, McDonald's has seen sales growth slow as the company faces intensifying competition and an uncertain global economy. Its global revenue at restaurants open at least 13 months fell 1.8 per cent in October. The last time it had dropped was in March 2003.
McDonald's has responded by renovating some stores and expanding its value menu and adding other food items to its menu.
Its longtime rivals such as Burger King and Wendy's Co. are reviving their brands with improved menus and new TV ad campaigns. Taco Bell, owned by Yum Brands Inc., is also seeing improved growth sparked by new offerings such as it Doritos Locos Tacos and higher-end Cantina Bell bowls and burritos.
Meanwhile, people are increasingly flocking to restaurants such as Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. and Panera Bread Co., which offer better-quality food for a little more money. The broader fast-food landscape has been undergoing changes over the past several years too, with the rise of chains such as Subway and Starbucks.