Local brands hammer McDonald's in Scandinavia

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Last year proved a very difficult year for McDonald's Corp. in Scandinavia, especially in Finland and Denmark, where growth in the company's market share slipped.

In Finland, McDonald's market share has slipped from 50 percent in 1998 to around 40 percent by year-end 2000. Share was lost to indigenous rivals; Hesburger, whose market share has increased from 20 percent to 34 percent since 1998, and Carrols, the market's third biggest fast-food chain, saw its share rise from 16 percent to 26 percent in the same period. Since 1995, McDonald's has invested $100 million to buy an 84-outlet chain.

In Denmark, McDonald's 96 restaurants are thought to have managed a profit of only $1.4 million last year. One reason for the stagnation in McDonald's sales is the entry of new fast food chains and a greater eating choice for Danes, says McDonald' Denmark CEO Jesper Gad Andresen.

Copyright January 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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