McDonald’s Beats Sales Estimates

Same-store sales globally at McDonald’s increased at a bigger than expected rate of 2.4% during November, as the largest fast food group in the world succeeded in reversing its decline that was reported in early November for October.

Analysts had expected just a 0.16% increase globally at restaurants in the chain that had been open for a minimum of 13 months.

CEO Don Thompson said the company was strengthening its focus on the priorities globally that have the most impact on customers through optimization of the menu, modernizing the experience enjoyed by customers and broadening the brand accessibility in order to move the business ahead amidst the current competitive and economic challenges.

McDonald’s has been successful in boosting its customer traffic and sales quicker than the majority of its competitors with operations that are expanding globally and its menu that is becoming more and more diverse, including products that have much higher margins.

However, last month the Big Mac giant reported its monthly sales had dropped, the first time that happened in nine years.  Those results surprised many investors who had been expecting weakness in Asia and Europe but were off guard due to the decline in same store sales in the U.S.

The decline was blamed on the weak economy by McDonald’s and its heightened competition that has been offering savings coupons. Since then it has promoted its $1 items more. It also replaced the president for its business in the U.S.

Sales system wide for McDonald’s were up 4.8% for November. In the U.S., same store sales were up 1.4%. The company noted that strong results in Russia, the UK and other areas were partially offset by a weak month in Germany.