Sun. Nov 29th, 2020

By DEE-ANN DURBIN, AP Business writer

McDonald’s US sales returned in the third quarter with new menu items and attention-grabbing celebrity collaborations.

And the burger giant says more is coming. In a virtual meeting Monday for investors, McDonald’s has called a much-awaited chicken sandwich with pickles – a response to competitors like Poppy and Chick-fil-A that will go on sale in the US early next year. And the company is also developing its own plant-based burger, McPlant, whose trial will begin next year.

Plant-based burger maker Beyond Meat lost 8% on that news. McDonald’s tested Beyond Meat Patties at a Canadian restaurant earlier this year, but testing ended in April.

With new options like spicy chicken nuggets and a food deal with rapper Travis Scott promoting, McDonald’s exceeded most estimates for the third quarter.

This was not a story outside of the US, where sales between July and September failed to match last year’s level, and McDonald’s warned that a resurgence of cases of coronovirus in major markets such as France, Germany and the United Kingdom had been under-dining. May force closure. And other restrictions.

“We are delighted with our recovery, but we also understand that inevitably the onset and stagnation of the virus will be greater,” McDonald’s chief financial officer Kevin Ozan said Monday in a conference call with investors.

In America, the infection is now growing. But 95% of US McDonald’s have drive-through windows, which allowed the restaurant to continue to operate even after opening less than 20 dining rooms. Globally, only 65% ​​of McDonald’s have drive-through windows.

Coronavirus tracker from Johns Hopkins University reported more than 50.2 million COVID-19 cases globally as of Sunday. The US, with about 4% of the world’s population, represents about a fifth of all reported cases.

Same-store sales at McDonald’s – or sales at locations open in at least a year – saw a decline of 4.6% in US customer traffic, but when dinner arrived, they spent more on large group orders. Dinner was particularly strong, McDonald said, but other times of the day were also high.

Promoting the meal with Scott, which was introduced in September, McDonald’s has featured a celebrity name on its menu since a 1992 Michael Jordan branded food deal. For $ 6, customers could order Scott’s favorite food: a quarter pounder, fries and a sprite. Scott’s Cactus Jack brand also designed clothing for McDonald’s employees.

Ozan said there will be more celebrity ties to come. Last month, McDonald’s launched a limited-time food collaboration with Colombian singer Jay Bulvin.

McDonald’s also received a lift from its September introduction of Spicy McNuggets. This was the first time the company had introduced a new style since the introduction of McNuggets in 1983.

In December, McDonald’s planned to bring the McRib sandwich back for a limited time. This is the first time in eight years that McRib will be on the American menu.

Globally, McDonald’s same-store sales fell 2.2% in the third quarter, with sales in Japan and Australia declining in China, Europe and Latin America. Nevertheless, it was significantly better than the 24% drop seen by the company in the second quarter.

Net income for the third quarter rose 10% to $ 1.8 billion. Adjusted earnings for one-time items were $ 2.22 per share.

According to FactSet analysts exceeded Wall Street’s expectations of $ 1.91 per share.

Revenue fell 2% to $ 5.4 billion. He was in line with expectations.

Chicago company shares dropped nearly 2% in afternoon trading.

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