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Tue 30th Jan 2018 - McDonald’s reports like-for-likes up 5.5% in fourth quarter helped by ‘continued UK momentum’
McDonald’s reports like-for-likes up 5.5% in fourth quarter helped by ‘continued UK momentum’: McDonald’s has reported global like-for-like sales rose 5.5% in its fourth quarter to 31 December 2017 helped by continued momentum in the UK. Chief executive Steve Easterbrook said: “2017 was a strong year for McDonald’s as customers responded to the many ways we are making their experience more convenient and enjoyable. We served more customers more often, achieved our best comparable sales performance in six years, gained share in markets around the world and made tremendous progress with growth platforms such as delivery, mobile order and pay, and Experience of the Future.” In the US, fourth-quarter, like-for-like sales increased 4.5% “as a result of strong performance of core menu items featured under the McPick 2 platform and beverage value, as well as strong consumer response to the new Buttermilk Crispy Tenders and delivery”. The segment’s operating income rose 4%, reflecting higher franchised margin dollars and general and administrative savings, partly offset by lower company-operated margin dollars. Fourth-quarter like-for-like sales for the “international lead” segment increased 6.0% for the quarter, led by continued momentum in the UK and Canada, as well as positive results across all other markets. The segment’s operating income increased 14% (7% in constant currencies), fuelled by sales-driven improvements in franchised margin dollars. In the “high growth” segment, fourth-quarter like-for-like sales increased 4.0%, led by strong performance in China and positive results across the majority of the segment, partly offset by continued challenges in South Korea. In the foundational markets, fourth-quarter like-for-like sales rose 8.0%, reflecting positive sales performance across all geographic regions. Chief financial officer Kevin Ozan said: “For 2018, we plan to invest about $2.4bn of capital, the majority of which will be dedicated to reinvesting in our existing locations through accelerated deployment of Experience of the Future in the US. Our development plans also include the opening of about 1,000 new McDonald’s restaurants, 75% of which will be funded by our expanded network of developmental licensees and affiliates around the world. At the same time, we plan to continue making meaningful investments in technology to modernise the customer experience and redefine convenience. I’m confident that now is the opportune time to strategically invest in our business and our restaurants to drive profitable growth and become an even better McDonald’s.” Easterbrook added: “Our ‘Velocity Growth Plan’ is working and we’re focused on aggressive execution in 2018 to achieve the even greater ambitions we have for our business and brand in the years ahead. With the commitment the McDonald’s system has to running great restaurants and maximising our growth initiatives, we are confident that we will accelerate our momentum by capitalising on our strong business model and distinct brand advantages in convenience, menu variety and value.”

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