Q4 2013 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 01/23/2014

Operator: Hello, and welcome to McDonald's January 23, 2014 Investor Conference Call. At the request of McDonald's Corporation, this conference is being recorded.

Following today's presentation, there will be a question-and-answer session for investors.

I would now like to turn the conference over to Ms. Kathy Martin, Vice President of Investor Relations for McDonald's Corporation. Ms. Martin, you may begin.

Kathy Martin - IR: Hello, everyone, and thank you for joining us. With me on the call today are our President and Chief Executive Officer, Don Thompson; our Chief Financial Officer, Pete Bensen; and Chief Operating Officer, Tim Fenton, who is joining us for Q&A. Today's conference call is being webcast live and recorded for replay by phone, webcast and podcast.

Before I turn it over to Don, I want to remind everyone that the forward-looking statements in our earnings release and 8-K filings also apply to our comments. Both documents are available at www.investor.mcdonalds.com, as are reconciliations of any non-GAAP financial measures mentioned on today's call with our corresponding GAAP measures.

Now, I'd like to turn it over to Don.

Don Thompson - President and CEO: Thank you, Kathy, and good morning, everyone. As we embarked on the New Year, our systems focused on leveraging our competitive advantages to deliver great tasting and high-quality food and beverages at the speed and at the convenience that only McDonald's can provide. We have high expectations for our sales and we have high expectations for our brand, and we will not waver in our commitment to delivering an exceptional experience for the 70 million customers who visit us every day.

Given the challenging year that we had in 2013, I want to reiterate that we remain committed to adapting to keep pace with changing markets. We remain committed to investing to meet future demand, and we remain committed to addressing performance opportunities in the current environment.

As we shared at the November Investor Meeting, our primary focus is on resetting and strengthening the relationship that we have with our customers. They are the driving force behind our mission and we continue to place them front and center in all that we do.

We continue to execute against our three global growth priorities to optimize our menu, modernize the customer experience and to broaden accessibility because these are the areas where we have the most significant opportunities to differentiate our sales. Our near-term opportunities revolve around optimizing current initiatives for greater customer relevance, broader consumer reach and better restaurant execution.

In addition, we prioritized our near-term efforts on improvements in key opportunity markets. These include Germany and Japan, which are experiencing sustained negative trends, and the U.S. and Australia, which are significant contributors to consolidated performance.

Specifically, the leadership teams in these markets are developing more locally relevant solutions based on stronger consumer insights and more recent market learnings. This will help us to make the appropriate adjustments to regain momentum, as we more clearly align with our customers' needs.

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