McDonald’s to open 1,000 new stores

Burger chain McDonald’s announced it will open about 1,000 new McDonald’s restaurants starting 2018 after posting strong sales and earnings for the fourth quarter ending December 31, 2017 fueled by strong interest in its value promotions and new menu items.

Kevin Ozan, McDonald’s chief financial officer, said it is part of their development plans for 2018 to open about 1,000 new McDonald’s restaurants, 75 per cent of which will be funded by their expanded network of developmental licensees and affiliates around the world.

Ozan added they also plan to continue making meaningful investments in technology to modernise the company’s 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,” he said.

McDonald’s posted a 5.5 per cent increase in global same-store sales for the quarter, it’s fastest pace in six years. Systemwide sales increased eight per cent in constant currencies.

In the US, fourth quarter comparable sales increased 4.5 per cent as a result of strong performance of core menu items featured under the McPick2 platform and beverage value, as well as strong consumer response to the new Buttermilk Crispy Tenders and delivery. Operating income for the quarter increased four per cent, reflecting higher franchised margin dollars and G&A savings, partly offset by lower company-operated margin dollars.

Comparable sales for the international lead segment increased 6.0 per cent 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 per cent (seven per cent in constant currencies), fueled by sales-driven improvements in franchised margin dollars.

Due to the impact of the company’s strategic refranchising initiative, McDonald’s stated its consolidated revenues decreased 11 per cent.

Steve Easterbrook, McDonald’s president and CEO, said 2017 was a strong year for McDonald’s.

“Customers responded to the many ways we are making their experience more convenient and enjoyable,” Easterbrook said. “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.”

On January 25, 2018, the company’s Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $1.01 per share of common stock payable on March 15, 2018.

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