McDonald's Reports Strong Same-Store Sales for November

U.S. up 4.4% but Gains Stronger Overseas

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- McDonald's same-store sales for November, released today, reflect both a hunger for Big Macs both at home and abroad.
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Same-store sales bounded 8.2% on a global basis for the month. In the U.S., sales rose 4.4%, mostly on the strength of breakfast items, premium coffee and the dollar menu, but the gains represent slower growth than last year's 6.2% for the month.

Gains in Europe
The fast-feeder's global performance was strong. In Europe, same-store sales increased 10.8%, compared to an 8.4% increase a year ago. Premium burgers, new chicken items and promotional tie-ins led the charge in Europe.

The largest increase was in the Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa region, where same-store sales rocketed up 12%, compared to a 4.3% gain last November. More variety and value items were key in those markets.

"McDonald's commitment to evolve the restaurant experience to achieve even greater customer relevance continues to deliver results," CEO Jim Skinner said in a statement. "Again in November, each area of the world contributed to our strong top-line performance."

Systemwide sales
The company's systemwide sales, which take franchisee sales into account, were up 16.3%, and each region posted higher gains than their corporate-run counterparts.

"It's remarkable, actually," said Larry Miller, an analyst with RBC Capital Markets. "The company keeps printing these outrageous numbers -- around the world -- and it's become sort of expected, but at the same time when you see them in print, for a system as big as McDonald's to generate comp sales that are that big is remarkable."

While the sales growth outside of the U.S. and Europe are very high, Mr. Miller said that isn't the real story. Japan and Australia will be important, and China is a longer-term investment, but the real leadership markets are the U.S. and Europe.

"The short summary is that everything is going well for McDonald's, and they're getting currency, too," he said. "Nothing could be going better for McDonald's."
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