McDonald's sales slide is a global affair

McDonald's Corp's worldwide same-restaurant sales fell a steeper-than-expected 1.8 percent in January, as the company struggles to shake off the after-effects of food scandals in Asia. January marked the eighth straight month of worldwide same-restaurant sales declines at McDonald's,

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    The logo of McDonald's is seen at its restaurant facade in Tokyo.McDonald's Corp's worldwide same-restaurant sales fell a steeper-than-expected 1.8 percent in January, the fast food giant announced Monday, Feb. 10, 2014.
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 McDonald's Corp's worldwide same-restaurant sales fell a steeper-than-expected 1.8 percent in January, as the company struggles to shake off the after-effects of food scandals in China and Japan.

January marked the eighth straight month of worldwide same-restaurant sales declines at McDonald's, which is also battling changing consumer tastes, tough competition in the United States and economic and political turmoil inEurope, its top sales market.

Shares of the world's largest fast-food chain fell more than 1 percent to $92.95 in premarket trading.

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Comparable restaurant sales in Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa fell 12.6 percent in January, while analysts on average expected a fall of 8.4 percent, according to research firm Consensus Metrix.

Analysts expected a 1.2 percent decline in worldwide same-restaurant sales.

Sales at U.S. restaurants open at least 13 months, a closely watched gauge of performance, rose 0.4 percent, helped by higher demand of its breakfast items. That was marginally better than analysts estimates of a rise of 0.3 percent.

In December, those sales rose for the first time since October 2013. Sales have been hit by competition from smaller and more nimble direct rivals ranging from Burger King to Chick-fil-A.

One bright spot was Europe where same-restaurant sales rose 0.5 percent due to higher demand in the U.K. andGermany. Analysts had expected a fall of 0.5 percent.

McDonald's, trying to find the right recipe for diners' growing appetite for healthier and fresher food, has been trimming complicated menus, giving more control back to restaurant operators and testing customized burgers and sandwiches to compete with popular restaurants like Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc and Subway.

McDonald's is yet to recover from a food scandal in China, reported last year, where a local TV report showed workers at one of the company's supplier using expired meat.

Customers were further spooked last month after objects, including a tooth and plastic, were found in its food inJapan.

After one of its toughest years in decades, the company, which has more than 36,000 restaurants around the globe, is replacing its chief executive. 

 
 
 

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