McDonald's Reports 2.4% Comparable Sales Increased In U.S. For Q3 2018

Oct. 24, 2018
McDonald's Corporation today announced results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2018.
“In addition to achieving 13 consecutive quarters of positive global comparable sales, we have made substantial progress modernising restaurants around the world, enhancing hospitality and elevating the experience for the millions of customers we serve every day. We remain confident that our strategy will drive long-term, profitable growth,” said McDonald's President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Easterbrook.  \
Third quarter highlights:
  • Global comparable sales increased 4.2%, reflecting positive comparable sales in all segments
  • Due to the impact of the Company's strategic refranchising initiative, consolidated revenues decreased 7% (5% in constant currencies)
  • Systemwide sales increased 5% in constant currencies
  • Consolidated operating income decreased 21% (20% in constant currencies), as a result of the comparison to a gain of approximately $850 million on the sale of the Company's businesses in China and Hong Kong in the prior year. Excluding the impact of the gain, as well as prior year restructuring and impairment charges, consolidated operating income increased 2% (4% in constant currencies) 
  • Diluted earnings per share of $2.10 decreased 9% (7% in constant currencies). Excluding the impact of the prior year gain and restructuring and impairment charges, which totaled $0.56 per share, diluted earnings per share increased 19% (22% in constant currencies)
  • Returned $1.7 billion to shareholders through share repurchases and dividends. In addition, the Company announced a 15% increase in its quarterly dividend to $1.16 per share beginning in the fourth quarter, and increased the cash return to shareholder target for the 3-year period ending 2019 to about $25 billion
In the U.S., third quarter comparable sales increased 2.4%, driven by growth in average check resulting from both product mix shifts and menu price increases. Operating income for the quarter increased 3%, as higher franchised margin dollars and G&A savings were partly offset by lower Company-operated margin dollars.

In the International Lead segment, third quarter comparable sales increased 5.4%, reflecting positive results across all markets, primarily driven by the U.K., Australia and France. The segment's operating income was flat (increased 3% in constant currencies), as sales-driven improvements in franchised margin dollars were mostly offset by the comparison to a prior year gain on the strategic sale of property in Australia.

In the High Growth segment, third quarter comparable sales increased 4.6%, led by strong performance in Italy and the Netherlands, and positive results across most of the segment. The segment's prior year operating income included a gain of approximately $850 million related to the sale of the Company's businesses in China and Hong Kong, partly offset by unrelated impairment charges. Excluding these items, the segment's operating income decreased 5% (1% in constant currencies) due to the impact of refranchising.

In the Foundational markets, third quarter comparable sales increased 6.0%, reflecting positive sales performance in Japan and across all geographic regions. The segment's operating income increased 6% (12% in constant currencies), fueled by sales-driven improvements in franchised margin dollars.

Steve Easterbrook concluded, “We are intensely focused on providing our customers with great experiences at McDonald’s by running great restaurants and executing our delivery, digital, and Experience of the Future initiatives at a high level.”