Increased domestic competition dent sales at McDonald’s

World’s largest restaurant chain sees income fall 5.1 per cent to $1.2 billion from $1.27 billion

Tue, Apr 22, 2014, 15:14

McDonald’s, the world’s largest restaurant chain, posted first-quarter profit that trailed analysts’ estimates as increased competition ate into sales in the US. Net income fell 5.1 per cent to $1.2 billion, or $1.21 a share, from $1.27 billion, or $1.26, a year earlier, the Oak Brook, Illinois-based chain said today in a statement.

Analysts estimated $1.24 a share, the average of 24 projections compiled by Bloomberg. Sales at US locations open at least 13 months slid 1.7 per cent, compared with a 1.4 per cent decline estimated by analysts surveyed by Consensus Metrix.

Chief executive Don Thompson has struggled to attract diners in the past year as a complicated menu slowed service while rivals created new products and ramped up discounts.

Burger King has been introducing $1 sandwiches, while Taco Bell recently began selling breakfast fare, such as sausage burritos and Cinnabon bites, in the US.

McDonald’s was little changed at $99.66 earlier today in New York. The shares gained 2.7 per cent this year through yesterday, while the Standard and Poor’s 500 Restaurants Index lost 2.3 per cent. Revenue rose 1.4 per cent to $6.7 billion, trailing analysts’ $6.72 billion average estimate.