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McDonald’s sales at U.S. outlets open at least 13 months rose 5.7 percent in the quarter ended Dec. 31st, the best quarterly growth in nearly four years and far ahead of forecasts of 2.7 percent.
McDonald’s Corp (MCD.N) smashed expectations for quarterly same-restaurant sales as the launch of all-day breakfasts proved a hit with diners in the United States and demand continued to recover in China. The performance adds fuel to McDonald’s revival, after the chain had seen its U.S. sales fall for two years up to the third quarter of 2015 following a series of missteps under former chief executive Don Thompson, who left the world’s biggest restaurant chain last year. This was due to a greater need for healthier food choices.
McDonald’s new CEO, Steve Easterbrook implemented a turnaround plan last year that involved making the menu simpler, improving service times and raising worker wages.
McDonald’s launched the all-day breakfast menus in October in the United States, a move aimed at countering increasing competition from chains such as Wendy’s Co (WEN.O), Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O) and Burger King (QSR.TO).
“All-day breakfast positions us to regain market share we had given up in recent years,” Easterbrook said on a post-earnings conference call, adding it would take at least six more months of positive sales to cement a more sustained turnaround.
R. Wade Younger, CSP
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