McDon­ald’s wraps up year on a strong note

Antelope Valley Press - - BUSINESS - By DEE-ANN DURBIN AP Busi­ness Writer

McDon­ald’s wrapped up a tu­mul­tuous year on a high note af­ter the com­pany’s CEO was ousted in Novem­ber.

The burger gi­ant said Wed­nes­day it sur­passed $100 bil­lion in an­nual sales for the first time, and notched its high­est same-store sales in more than a decade, with growth in all of its global re­gions.

Even as the Chicago com­pany puts a rocky year be­hind it, po­ten­tial hur­dles have al­ready emerged in 2020.

McDon­ald’s new Pres­i­dent and CEO Chris Kem­pczin­ski said McDon­ald’s has closed sev­eral hun­dred restau­rants in China be­cause of the new coro­n­avirus. The num­ber of con­firmed cases jumped to 5,974 Wed­nes­day, sur­pass­ing the 5,327 in main­land China dur­ing the SARS out­break in 2002-2003.

Kem­pczin­ski said 3,000 restau­rants re­main open in China, in­clud­ing some that are feeding health care work­ers. He said the out­break is wor­ri­some, but China only ac­counts for 4-5% of the com­pany’s sys­temwide rev­enue. That’s less ex­po­sure than Star­bucks, which said Tues­day that 10% of its rev­enue comes from China.

That was a re­lief to in­vestors, who pushed McDon­ald’s stock up more than 2% to $216.25 in morn­ing trad­ing.

Kem­pczin­ski said his top pri­or­ity is im­prov­ing U.S. cus­tomer traf­fic, which has been fall­ing for more than a year. U.S. same-store sales — or sales at restau­rants open at least 13 months — rose 5% in the fourth quar­ter, but that was driven by higher prices and de­liv­ery.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

In this Jan. 22 file photo, signs for a McDon­ald’s restau­rant hang on a build­ing in the Chi­na­town sec­tion of New York. McDon­ald’s re­ported strong fi­nan­cial re­sults on Wed­nes­day.

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