Today, McDonald's (NYSE: MCD ) announced that its same-store sales in the U.S. and the Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa (APMEA) regions fell by 0.8% and 2.3%, respectively, in November while its sales in Europe were up 1.9%. In total, the company's same-store sales were up 0.5% in November, versus an increase of 2.4% last November.
Sales for the fast-food retailer in its entirety were up 1.1%, and 3.1% after adjusting for currency changes. The change in same-store sales in November over the last three years is seen in the table below:
In the U.S., McDonald's noted that while sales were "supported by breakfast, chicken menu choices and expanded value offerings," increased competition and flat traffic hurt performance. In considering next year, the company noted that it "is intent on rebuilding its underlying business momentum by strengthening key elements of customer service and leveraging the breadth of menu choices."
European sales were bolstered by strong performance in the U.K., France, and Russia, but the gains in the region were hurt by unfavorable results in Germany. The press release added that McDonald's was able to see gains as a result of strong customer experience as well as premium menu choices and promotions. The declining sales in the APMEA region were attributed to poor performance in Japan.
"As consumer expectations and the marketplace continue to evolve, we are making investments in our menu, restaurants and service to strengthen our connection with customers and build our business for long-term profitable growth," added Don Thompson, McDonald's president and chief executive officer.
The lackluster results come as McDonald's faces intensifying competition and changing eating habits. People are increasingly reaching for foods they feel are fresh, healthy or higher quality. To keep pace, McDonald's has introduced options such as chicken wraps and breakfast sandwiches with egg whites.
In the meantime, McDonald's is also trying to win over diners with cheaper fare. But its focus on its famous Dollar Menu has been a sore point with franchisees, who are seeing their profit margins hurt as costs for ingredients climb.
-- Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.