CONSUMERS lost their appetite for McDonald’s hamburgers and fries in the fourth quarter as the fast food giant revealed weaker-than-expected sales at restaurants open more than a year.
Global like-for-like sales fell by 0.1 per cent in the three months to the end of December, the group said yesterday, as fewer people passed through its doors.
This was led by a 1.4 per cent decline in the US, its biggest market, while in Europe comparable sales edged up by one per cent.
McDonald’s did not provide sales figures for its 1,200 UK sites, although UK chief executive Jill McDonald said she was “very pleased” with the performance.
“In a year when the economic environment has remained challenging for customers, the horse meat scandal cast a cloud over the food industry and Britain experienced an uncharacteristically hot summer, we’ve delivered another strong year of growth,” McDonald said.
McDonald’s which is the world’s biggest restaurant chain by revenues, has been struggling to counter weak demand and intense competition from rivals such as Burger King.
Chief executive Don Thompson, who took over the reins 18 months ago, has made efforts to shore up sales by changing the management team, introducing new products and menus such as the dollar menu in the US.
Group revenue grew by two per cent to $7.09bn while net income was up two per cent to $5.58bn.