As McDonald’s Corp. warned in its first-quarter earnings call last month, global same-store sales were slightly negative in April, falling 0.6 percent.
The decline included a 0.7-percent increase in same-store sales for the U.S. division, offset by decreases of 2.4 percent for Europe and 2.9 percent for the Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa, or APMEA, segment.
“McDonald’s is focused on becoming our customers’ favorite place and way to eat and drink by leveraging the strength of our menu variety, unsurpassed value and convenience, and by emphasizing outstanding customer service,” president and chief executive Don Thompson said in a statement. “As we begin the second quarter against the backdrop of a persistently challenging macro environment, the McDonald’s system is aligned around executing our long-term strategies to drive sustained, profitable growth.”
In the United States, the slight sales gain in April lapped a 3.3-percent same-store sales increase from a year earlier. Company officials credited new menu items like the Premium McWrap and the Egg White Delight McMuffin at breakfast, which rolled out systemwide in the latter half of the month.
As in the previous several months, Europe’s performance was a case of strong performance in the United Kingdom and Russia offsetting soft sales in the usually robust markets of France and Germany, while southern European countries like Spain continue to struggle. The division has been emphasizing value platforms for much of 2013.
The company noted that avian influenza, particularly in China, contributed to the same-store sales decrease for APMEA. Soft sales in the segment’s key markets of Japan and Australia also led to the decline.
Oak Brook, Ill.-based McDonald’s operates or franchises more than 34,000 restaurants around the world, including more than 14,000 units in the United States.