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McDonald's Sales Largely Recover as Coronavirus Challenges Persist

By Heather Haddon 

McDonald's Corp. said that even as its sales have largely recovered, it expects to have to continue adjusting restaurant operations as long as the coronavirus pandemic persists.

The company said Monday that global same-store sales fell 2.2% during its third quarter from a year earlier, a slightly better result than analysts had expected and a sizable improvement from a 23.9% drop in the second quarter. Sales improved as countries allowed restaurants to open again during the summer and autumn after initial lockdowns, McDonald's said.

Rising Covid-19 case counts are closing dining rooms in some places again. McDonald's said government restrictions on restaurant hours, dine-in capacity and dining rooms since September are hurting its operations, particularly in markets outside the U.S. such as France, Germany, Canada and the U.K.

While restaurants have been hit hard by the pandemic, well-capitalized chains are in many cases performing better than independent restaurants. Companies with drive-through and delivery, including McDonald's, have had an advantage.

McDonald's reported a 4.6% year-over-year increase in same-store sales in the U.S. for its latest quarter. It said bigger orders and dinner business helped overcome lower total customer tallies. Drive-through service and a promotional partnership with the musician Travis Scott drew customers, McDonald's said.

Burger King, owned by Restaurant Brands International Inc., reported a 3.2% drop year-over-year for its U.S. same-store sales in the quarter ended Sept. 30.

McDonald's reported $5.4 billion in revenue for the quarter, in line with expectations from analysts polled by FactSet. The company said it had earnings per share of $2.35 on $1.8 billion in profit, up from $1.6 billion in the quarter a year earlier. Profit was aided by the sale of part of its stake in its Japanese business. Analysts had expected profit of $1.4 billion for the quarter.

For its third quarter ended Sept. 30, McDonald's reported earnings per share adjusted for one-time items of $2.22, up 5% from the prior year. Analysts had expected $1.91.

Write to Heather Haddon at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 09, 2020 07:12 ET (12:12 GMT)

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