Industry News | March 22, 2000

McD's: Increase in Cash Flow; Higher Returns

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"[McDonald's is] pleased to announce that our strong 1999 earnings performance has helped drive a significant increase in free cash flow and higher returns for 1999. McDonald's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jack M. Greenberg said in a February 15, 2000 announcement. "Free cash flow (defined as cash from operations less capital expenditures) exceeded $1.14 billion in 1999, a 29 percent increase from $887 million in 1998. Our substantial cash flow from operations continues to support expansion and dividend payments as well as fund share repurchase.

"Return on average assets improved to 16.6 percent in 1999, compared with 16.4 percent in 1998*, driven by strong U.S. performance. Return on average equity increased to 20.8 percent from 19.5 percent in 1998*. McDonald's improved returns and strong overall performance resulted from our continued focus on operational excellence, value, share repurchase and effectively managing capital. We will continue to run our business so that we maximize cash flow and returns for our shareholders. We look forward to another outstanding year in 2000."

Additional highlights are as follows:

  • Cash generated from operations totaled $3.0 billion, compared with capital expenditures of $1.9 billion. In 1998, cash from operations totaled $2.8 billion, compared with capital expenditures of $1.9 billion.
  • Total assets increased to $21.0 billion from $19.8 billion. Total shareholders' equity was $9.6 billion and total debt was approximately 7.3 billion. The debt-to-capitalization ratio was 42.9 percent at December 31, 1999 and 42.7 percent at year-end 1998.
  • Systemwide sales were $38.5 billion and total revenues were $13.3 billion in 1999.
  • In 1999, 24.2 million shares of stock were repurchased for $933 million.
  • Depreciation and amortization totaled $956 million and $881 million in 1999 and 1998, respectively.
  • At December 31, 1999 common shares outstanding were 1,350,824,590. McDonald's is the world's largest global foodservice retailer, with more than 26,000 restaurants serving over 43 million people each day in 119 countries.

*Returns in 1998 exclude Made for You costs and the special charge.