McDonald's to add more than 1,000 outlets in China

Thu Mar 31, 2016 2:01pm EDT
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By Subrat Patnaik

(Reuters) - McDonald's Corp (MCD.N: Quote) plans to add more than 1,000 restaurants in China over the next five years, which would make it the company's second-largest market after the United States.

The company said it would open 250 restaurants per year in China, where it currently operates more than 2,200 outlets, as it focuses on high-growth markets to boost sales.

McDonald's said it would add another 250 outlets in Hong Kong and South Korea over the same period and was seeking franchise partners in the all three markets, where it now has more than 2,800 restaurants.

"Asia still offers by far the largest long-term growth opportunity in global foodservice," Euromonitor International analyst Elizabeth Friend told Reuters.

China, Hong Kong and South Korea, along with other high-growth markets such as Russia, accounted for nearly a quarter of McDonald's total sales in 2015.

McDonald's, which converted about 470 company-owned restaurants to franchises last year, plans to franchise 95 percent of its outlets worldwide in the long-term.

More than 80 percent of its 36,000-plus restaurants are currently operated by franchisees.

Oak Brook, Illinois-based McDonald's said it was looking for partners who would "enable localized decisions on growth initiatives" in China, Hong Kong and South Korea.   Continued...

Birds fly past a sign of 24-hour McDonald's restaurant at sunrise in Hong Kong, China November 11, 2015. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu