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McDonald’s sales edge up on better US results

August 8, 2013

NEW YORK (AP) — McDonald’s says a key sales figure edged up modestly in July, as the Dollar Menu and Big Macs in the U.S. helped offset declines in other parts of the world.

The world’s biggest hamburger chain says global sales rose 0.7 percent at restaurants open at least 13 months. That included a 1.6 percent increase in the U.S., where it said “everyday value offerings,” breakfast offerings and staples such as the Big Mac drove up results.

For July, the sales figure was hurt by a 1.9 percent decline in both Europe and the region encompassing Asia, the Middle East and Africa. CEO Don Thompson has said the company is working on adjusting to local conditions, whether it’s by emphasizing deals more or extending the hours of operation.

McDonald’s stock was up 1 percent at $99.47 in premarket trading.

McDonald’s, based in Oak Brook, Illinois, is trying to juggle a variety of challenges. With people being careful about their spending, the fast-food chain has aggressively promoted its Dollar Menu and other deals to bring in customers. Analysts have expressed concern the strategy could eat into profit margins, but executives say the sacrifice is necessary to keep customers loyal and grow over the long term.

To shake its fast-food image, the company is also offering options people see as healthier or fresher. Some of its newer menu items include chicken wraps and the option to substitute egg whites in breakfast sandwiches.

At the same time, the company is trying to remind people of longtime favorites and has been featuring its Big Mac in TV and online ads. It also recently expanded its lineup of Quarter Pounders, saying it wanted to capitalize on the popularity of the burger.

Still, the company had warned last month that it expected sales to be relatively flat in July and that the rest of the year would be challenging. McDonald’s has attributed its struggle to drive up sales to intensifying competition and weak economic conditions around the world.

The monthly sales figures are a snapshot of money spent on food at both company-owned and franchised restaurants and do not reflect corporate revenue.

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