Industry News | August 8, 2003

McDonald’s Reports Record July Sales

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Ronald McDonald, a.k.a. Jim Cantalupo, seems to have gotten the act together at the Golden Arches.

On the heals of achieving a 4.9% increase in U.S. same store sales in the second quarter, McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE: MCD) reported yesterday a 9.9% increase in July U.S. same store sales. The surge in same store sales sent worldwide systemwide sales up a record 11% to $4.1 billion (7% in constant currencies).

Jim Cantalupo, chairman and chief executive officer, said, "I'm encouraged with our early progress on McDonald's Plan to Win, which is all about attracting new customers, encouraging existing customers to visit more often, creating brand loyalty and doing all this more profitably.”

Although comparable store sales in Europe were down 0.6%, it was the best showing in a year. Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa still lag behind in the system at negative 3.6% in comp sales but likewise are showing improvement.

In addition, Cantalupo reported that the company had paid down nearly $400 million of debt through June 30, keeping an earlier promise to clean up balance sheet debt.

The record sales continue to be influenced by the successes of the Premium Salad line and McGriddle breakfast sandwiches as well as a resurgence in the popularity of the Big Mac due to support by national advertising.

The successes at McDonald’s are likely behind the negative sales figures at competitors. Wendy’s said its July same store sales were down in the low 2% range.

McDonald’s shares traded as much as 7% higher through midday, giving other blue chip stocks a welcome boost.