Despite encouraging sales numbers posted earlier this week thanks to a dramatic price cut for its burgers and cheeseburgers, McDonald’s Holdings Co. (Japan) Ltd. reported dour news today: results for the first half ended June 30 show that the company’s pretax profit fell 81 percent to 2.46 billion yen ($20.3 billion) in the first six month period of 2002

McDonald’s Holding Co. cited Japanese consumers’ lingering fears of mad-cow disease as the potential cause for its 14 percent decline in sales during the six month period.

As a result, McDonald’s Holdings Japan has reduced its 2002 parent pretax profit outlook to 11 billion yen from 22.69 billion yen. Its sales outlook was also reduced, to 339.42 billion yen from 365.02 billion yen.

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