Top US brands win as results beat forecasts

AMERICAN brand giants McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and Walt Disney reported stronger-than-expected results yesterday, though the food and drink profits are increasingly coming from outside the US .

McDonald’s beat expectations with a 2.6 per cent increase in January sales compared to a year earlier. The US market, which fell 0.7 per cent, was propped up by 4.3 per cent growth in the Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa regions. UK and French sales were also strong.

Meanwhile Coca-Cola’s fourth quarter results revealed a five per cent dip in sale volumes globally, but a $1.54bn (£980bn) profit on revenues, up 5.3 per cent to $7.5bn.
Higher demand for its beverages in China, India and Brazil offset a drop in North America. Net operating revenue rose five per cent to $7.51bn and sales by volume rose five per cent – up on expected gains of two per cent.

Walt Disney’s net income fell year-on-year to $844m from $845m. Revenue rose one per cent to $9.74bn, with the strongest performance from the company’s media network division, the home to its lucrative cable networks. Despite flat studio sales, cost-cutting took the sting out of relatively poor box office figures from films like “Old Dogs”,

“Princess and the Frog” and “A Christmas Carol”.

Walt Disney’s shares rose two per cent after the results.