McDonald's Chief Executive Officer Jim Skinner said, "We continue to make progress on delivering a relevant restaurant experience by maintaining our focus on our most important priority - our customers. In November, this strategic focus helped generate another month of positive global comparable sales and increased customer visits.
"In the U.S., our strong sales momentum continued with November's comparable sales up 4.8%. Customer demand for McDonald's popular breakfast menu and extended hours contributed to the higher sales. Recently, McDonald's U.S. rang in the holiday season with the nationwide launch of the Arch Card - prepaid, re-loadable gift cards. Available throughout the year, this new payment option is the latest example of McDonald's ongoing commitment to providing relevant customer conveniences.
"In Europe, comparable sales were relatively flat for the month as our major markets went up against last year's aggressive sales building activities, including national coupon promotions in the U.K. and Germany. This impact was offset by strong comparable sales in Russia and other markets across the segment. Our European business remains focused on building brand relevance, enhancing menu variety and communicating our quality messages to consistently build sales across the segment.
"Comparable sales for Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa were up 7.1% in November driven by strong results in Australia, Japan and Taiwan.
"As we move into 2006, we remain committed to enhancing brand relevance and delivering a superior McDonald's restaurant experience. I am confident that by maintaining the discipline essential to driving improved results, we can generate sustained profitable growth for the McDonald's System and our shareholders."
During the fourth quarter, McDonald's will complete its annual asset impairment testing, and expects to record charges of about $0.02 per share, primarily related to asset impairment in South Korea. Separately, if average foreign currency exchange rates remain at current levels, McDonald's expects that earnings per share for the quarter would be negatively impacted by at least $0.01 per share.
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