McDonald’s wraps up year on a strong note
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.
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.