McDonald's CEO says momentum is building, sees sales turnaround

Thu Jul 23, 2015 1:12pm EDT
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By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) - McDonald's Corp's (MCD.N: Quote) new chief executive expects global sales at established restaurants to grow in the current quarter, reversing more than a year of declines, and said his turnaround plan is showing early signs of taking hold.

The world's biggest fast-food chain, which popularized burgers and french fries, is battling nimble rivals who are doing a better job of meeting consumers' growing appetite for fresher, less processed food.

Since taking the helm in March, McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook repeatedly has vowed to turn McDonald's into "a modern, progressive burger company."

Easterbrook, who debuted his turnaround plan in May, on Thursday said: "While our second quarter results were disappointing, we are seeing early signs of momentum."

But McDonald's still has a long way to go.

Net income tumbled 13 percent to $1.20 billion, or $1.26 a share, in the second quarter. Total revenue fell 10 percent to $6.50 billion.

Global sales at McDonald's restaurants open at least 13 months fell a slightly steeper-than-expected 0.7 percent in the quarter that ended June 30, due to a drop in traffic in all major markets.

Same-restaurant sales in the United States, McDonald's No. 1 profit market, were down 2 percent in the latest quarter as customer visits fell and featured products and promotions missed their mark.   Continued...

A girl runs past a McDonald's store in Taipei, Taiwan, June 25, 2015.  REUTERS/Pichi Chuang -