McDonald’s Records Global Sales Decrease In First Quarter 2013, Including 1.2 Percent In U.S.

McDonald's Corp. announced results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2013. While the company posted higher revenues and earnings per share for the quarter, comparable sales and operating income declined -- affected by comparison against strong prior year results that include an additional day in 2012 due to leap year.

In the U.S., comparable sales decreased 1.2 percent in the first quarter due in part to the challenging eating-out environment, according to the company. Operating income declined 3 percent for the quarter. Despite these results, McDonald's U.S. reported outperforming the competition and increasing market share. During the quarter, the U.S. fortified its value leadership position with the Dollar Menu, expanded its menu variety with innovative new products and enhanced the customer experience through ongoing restaurant reimaging, according to the company. Looking ahead, the U.S. is focused on menu and convenience initiatives to drive sales and restaurant profitability.

For the quarter, Europe's results were dampened by ongoing economic uncertainty. First quarter comparable sales were down 1.1 percent, while operating income increased 1 percent (up 1 percent in constant currency)- - led by performance in the U.K. and Russia, partly offset by Germany. Moving forward, the segment's business plans emphasize building market share by featuring value across all day parts, offering compelling premium products and expanding the brand's presence through extended operating hours and new restaurant growth.

In Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa (APMEA), first quarter comparable sales declined 3.3 percent primarily due to ongoing weakness in Japan and negative results in China. The segment's quarterly operating income was down 1 percent (up 2 percent in constant currencies). McDonald's APMEA remains focused on driving performance by offering unique value platforms, accelerating growth at breakfast, and broadening accessibility through service and convenience initiatives and new restaurant development.

"McDonald's remains diligently focused on enhancing our menu, restaurants and the overall customer experience to become more relevant to today's consumers," said Don Thompson, McDonald's president and chief executive officer, in a prepared statement. "While the company's results for the quarter reflected difficult prior year comparisons and the ongoing impact of global economic headwinds, we continue our efforts to build market share and deliver sustained profitable growth for all stakeholders."

Thompson concluded, "We have an outstanding brand, an aligned system and an unsurpassed global infrastructure - making us uniquely well-positioned to capitalize on future growth opportunities around the world. We are committed to strengthening our business by building upon the solid foundation that is already in place. As we move forward, top-line comparisons will begin to ease while the challenging global environment and bottom-line pressures are expected to persist. For the month of April, global comparable sales are expected to be slightly negative. We are confident that we have the right plans in place to differentiate the McDonald's experience and strengthen our business momentum for the long term."

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