McDonald's in Iceland exit

FAST FOOD chain McDonald&rsquo;s is closing all of its Icelandic operations in the wake of the country&rsquo;s financial crisis, it said yesterday.<br /><br />The world&rsquo;s largest fast-food business said it is pulling the lid on its three Icelandic restaurants because the economy and other challenges have made doing business there financially impossible. <br /><br />The closures of the restaurants, which are operated by franchisee Jon Ogmundsson, will take effect from 31 October. <br /><br />&ldquo;The unique operational complexity of doing business in Iceland combined with the very challenging economic climate in the country makes it financially prohibitive to continue the business,&rdquo; McDonald&rsquo;s European arm said yesterday.<br /><br />&ldquo;This complex set of challenges means we have no plans to seek a new partner in Iceland,&rdquo; it added.<br /><br />Iceland&rsquo;s banks collapsed at the height of the downturn, devastating its economy and leaving it dependent on a $10bn (&pound;5.8bn) aid package led by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Ogmundsson has operated the restaurants since 2004. <br /><br />The chain opened its first Icelandic store in 1993, when the then Prime Minister David Oddsson ate the first Big Mac.