McDonald’s in deep grease

Jul 22, 2013 by

NEW YORK (AP) — McDonald’s Corp. is mixing up its menu to lure more customers but not enough of them are biting.

The world’s biggest hamburger chain on Monday reported a second-quarter profit that rose 4 percent but fell short of Wall Street expectations. It also said July sales are expected to be relatively flat and warned of a tough year ahead.

Its stock edged down more than 2 percent at $98.05 in premarket trading.

The company, based in Oak Brook, Ill., says global sales edged up 1 percent at restaurants open at least a year for the three months ended June 30. The figure rose by the same amount in the U.S., where the company has been trying to adapt to changing eating habits with items such as its new chicken wraps and egg-white breakfast sandwiches.

But the tepid growth in the latest quarter reflect the challenges facing McDonald’s, which for years had been a standout in the fast-food industry. Part of the problem is that economic conditions remain weak in many parts of the world. But another factor is that dining habits are changing, particularly in the U.S., with people increasingly opting for foods they feel are fresher, healthier or higher-quality.

CEO Don Thompson, who took over last summer, has said that the chain has a bigger product pipeline than in the past. Thompson has noted that the company can capitalize on ideas from around the world and adapt them to other markets.

But for the first three months of the year, the company reported its first global quarterly sales decline at restaurants open at least 13 months.

via News from The Associated Press.

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