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Wed 30th Jan 2019 - McDonald’s reports like-for-likes up 4.4% in fourth quarter helped by ‘continued UK growth’
McDonald’s reports like-for-likes up 4.4% in fourth quarter helped by ‘continued UK growth’: McDonald’s has reported global like-for-like sales rose 4.4% in its fourth quarter to 31 December 2018 helped by continued growth in the UK. Chief executive Steve Easterbrook said: “Our performance in 2018 was strong, driven by the Velocity Growth Plan with broad-based momentum across each of our global segments. We continued to transform our business by making substantial progress on modernising our restaurants and offering more convenience, choice and value to our customers. We have now achieved 14 consecutive quarters of positive global comparable sales and our customers rewarded us with more visits in 2018, helping us achieve two consecutive years of global guest-count growth for the first time since 2012.” In the US, fourth quarter like-for-like sales increased 2.3% driven by “growth in average spend resulting from both product mix shifts and menu price increases”. The segment’s operating income fell 1.0%, reflecting lower company-operated margin dollars and lower gains on sales of restaurant businesses, partly offset by higher franchised margin dollars and general and administrative savings. Fourth quarter like-for-like sales for the “international lead” segment increased 5.2% for the quarter, reflecting “positive results across all markets primarily driven by the UK, Germany and Australia”. The segment’s operating income increased 8% (12% in constant currencies) due to sales-driven improvements in franchised margin dollars and higher gains on sales of restaurant businesses in the UK and Australia. In the “high growth” segment, fourth quarter like-for-like sales increased 4.8% led by continued strong performance in Italy and the Netherlands and positive results across most of the segment. The segment’s operating income decreased 44% (41% in constant currencies) reflecting non-cash impairment charges. Excluding these charges, the segment’s operating income decreased 2% (increased 2% in constant currencies). In the foundational markets, fourth quarter like-for-like sales rose 7.1% reflecting positive sales performance in Japan and across all geographic regions. Easterbrook added: “We have confidence in our plan and the continued growth opportunities from delivery, Experience Of The Future and digital. We remain committed to running great restaurants, which will continue to make a difference for our customers and drive long-term sustainable growth.”

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