Australian growth provides boost to McDonald’s

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 9th June 2009

Convenience and an improved menu have led to another strong result in Australia by the world’s largest burger chain, while low prices have ensured continued growth around the world.

The seemingly recession-proof fast-food giant posted global comparable sales growth of 5.1% in May – which was surprisingly below analyst expectations.

“May’s strong performance tells us that customers around the world continue to choose McDonald’s for the convenience, menu choice, quality and value we offer. Our focus on the customer and alignment around the Plan to Win are driving our ongoing success,” Chief Executive Officer Jim Skinner said.

McDonald’s American business momentum continued, although growth fell back to 2.8%. The national introduction of the new McCafe espresso-based coffees and popularity of classic menu favourites contributed to the month’s result, the company said.

In Europe, strong performance in the U.K., France, Germany and Russia drove comparable sales up 7.6%, while sales rose 6.4% in Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa primarily due to Australia. “A focus on relevant menu offerings and convenience have delivered sustained strong sales momentum,” the fast-food chain noted in regard to Australia. “The segment’s results also benefited from positive comparable sales in Japan, but were partly offset by China.”

The impact of foreign currency translations continues to weigh, however, with systemwide sales down 0.4% after currency translation (7% up in constant currencies).