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Thu 27th Jan 2022 - McDonald’s reports global like-for-likes up 10.8% in fourth quarter on 2019 levels, UK sees ‘very strong’ growth
McDonald’s reports global like-for-likes up 10.8% in fourth quarter and 8% in full year on pre-pandemic levels, UK business sees ‘very strong’ growth: McDonald’s has reported global like-for-likes were up 12.3% year-on-year in its fourth quarter ending 31 December 2021 and 10.8% on 2019 levels, with the UK business seeing “very strong” growth. Global like-for-like sales for the full year increased 17% year-on-year and 8% on 2019 levels, reflecting positive comparable sales in all markets. For the full year, US like-for-like sales were up 13.8% year-on-year – marking the highest annual US like-for-like growth ever reported – and 14.3% on 2019 levels. The “international operated” segment, which includes the UK, saw like-for-like sales increase 21.6% year-on-year and 3.4% on 2019 levels. The “international developmental” licensed segment saw like-for-likes up 16.6% year-on-year and 4.4% on 2019 levels. McDonald's delivered operating income growth of 41% for the full year, surpassing $10bn globally. Chief executive Chris Kempczinski said: “While 2021 was a year of continued challenges around the world, the McDonald's system came together with unparalleled dedication and delivered truly exceptional performance. We enter this new year with a clear focus on creating seamless and memorable customer experiences and harnessing our momentum to drive long-term, sustainable growth for all of our stakeholders.” US fourth-quarter like-for-likes were up 7.5% year-on-year and 13.4% on 2019 levels, benefiting from strong average transaction growth driven by strategic menu price increases. Strong menu and marketing promotions, such as the McRib and Crispy Chicken Sandwich, and growth in digital channels, driven by the company's loyalty programme, also contributed to the like-for-like sales growth, McDonald’s said. Like-for-like sales in the fourth quarter for the “international operated” segment were up 16.8% year-on-year and 8.2% on 2019 levels. This was due to “strong operating performance and fewer restaurant closures associated with covid-19”. This drove “very strong” positive like-for-like sales growth in France, the UK, Italy and Germany. Covid-related government restrictions in the quarter resulted in relatively flat comparable sales in Australia. In the “international developmental” licensed segment, fourth-quarter like-for-like sales were up 14.2% year-on-year and 10.1% on 2019 levels. The quarter reflected strong like-for-like sales across the segment, partly offset by negative like-for-like sales in China due to continued covid19 resurgences. McDonald’s stated: “Covid-19 continued to result in varying levels of government restrictions on restaurant operating hours, limited dine-in capacity and, in some cases, dining room closures. The company has applied appropriate precautionary measures, including following the guidance of expert health authorities, and will continue to adapt and enhance its approach in order to protect the safety and well-being of its customers and people. Results for the quarter and year reflected stronger operating performance across all segments due to higher sales-driven restaurant margins as we continue to execute on our Accelerating the Arches strategy. Results also benefited from fewer restaurant closures and reduced covid-related government restrictions compared with the prior year.”

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