McDonald's: Weather Hurt U.S. Sales, but January Global Comps up 1.2%

Following a 0.1% overall decline in sales at stores open at least 13 months for the quarter ending Dec. 31, 2013, McDonald's (NYSE: MCD  ) announced today it rebounded with a solid January. Same-stores sales were up 1.2% last month around the globe, the fast-food giant said. Analysts' consensus estimate was for the Golden Arches' worldwide comparable-store sales to increase 0.7% in January.

Despite strong results overall, McDonald's same-store sales struggled domestically, where McDonald's said severe winter weather hurt its sales performance.

Of its three markets -- U.S., Europe, and the Asia/Pacific, Middle East, and Africa (or APMEA) regions -- the U.S. was the only market to show a drop in same-store sales, declining 3.3% in January. That decrease in domestic sales followed a 1.4% decrease in the fourth quarter of 2013 in the U.S., according to McDonald's quarterly earnings report.

McDonald's Europe region same-store sales were up 2% last month, while its APMEA region jumped a robust 5.4%. The strength in APMEA sales was largely due to strong results in China, according to McDonald's, though the Japan and Australia regions also demonstrated solid growth. Europe comps saw growth in the fourth quarter of 1% while APMEA had notched a 2.4% decline.

The January drop in U.S. same-store sales, according to McDonald's, was partly due to poor weather across the country. Some analysts point to the slow economic turnaround tightening U.S. consumers' wallets as a more likely reason for the tough U.S. market.

McDonald's today also announced the opening of its first restaurant in Vietnam, the 10,000th restaurant for the chain in the Asia, Pacific, Middle East, and Africa region. McDonald's says the Ho Chi Minh City establishment offers the first drive-through restaurant in Vietnam.


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Tim Brugger

Tim has been writing professionally for several years after spending 18 years (Whew! Was it that long?)in both the retail and institutional side of the financial services industry. Tim resides in Portland, Oregon with his three children and the family dog.

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