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Wed 22nd Apr 2015 - McDonald's sees like-for-like sales fall across the board
McDonald's sees like-for-like sales fall across the board: McDonald's today announced like-for-like sales falls around the world for the three months to the end of March 2015, with April like-for-likes also expected to be down. Same-store sales in the United States for the first quarter were 2.6% worse off, with Europe falling O.6% despite a positive performance in the UK, and problems in Japan and China pushing Asia, Pacific, Middle East and Africa (APMEA) sales down 8.3%. In all the company reported a fall of 2.3% in global like-for-like sales for the quarter, reflecting falling customer numbers in all its major markets, while global consolidated revenues fell 1% in constant currencies, while operating income was down 20% in constant currencies, due to a weaker operating performance and a $195m hit from restructuring costs and charges related to 220 restaurant closures in the US and Canada and 130 closures in Japan. Those were on top of another 350 planned closures globally. In Europe good results in the UK were more than offset by weak performances in France and Russia, with operating income down 20% (4% in constant currencies), reflecting soft consumer sentiment and currency and inflation pressures in Russia, as well as "ongoing macro-economic headwinds" across much of the continent, the company said. In APMEA, operating income fell 80% (77% in constant currencies), hampered by what McDonald's called " prolonged, broad-based consumer perception issues in Japan" and a negative but improving performance in China. Kevin Ozan, McDonald's chief financial officer, said: "We are committed to positioning the company for long-term growth. We took a meaningful step in the first quarter with the decision to close under-performing restaurants that are not contributing to our profitability. While we continue our efforts to regain our business momentum and improve sales at our more than 36,000 restaurants around the world, our current performance reflects the ongoing pressures on the business. April global comparable sales are expected to be negative."

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