September 11, 2012 - 17:31 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - McDonald’s Corp., the world’s largest restaurant chain, said sales at stores open at least 13 months rose 3.7 percent in August amid growth in China and Australia, Bloomberg reports.
Analysts projected an increase of 3.9 percent, the average of 17 estimates compiled by Consensus Metrix. Sales in the company’s Asia Pacific, Africa and Middle East region climbed 5.7 percent last month, Oak Brook, Illinois-based McDonald’s said in a statement. Analysts estimated a gain of about 4 percent for stores there.
McDonald’s comparable-store sales increased 3 percent in the U.S. and 3.1 percent in Europe. Analysts estimated gains of 3.1 percent and about 3.3 percent, respectively, according to a survey by Consensus Metrix, which is owned by Wayne, New Jersey- based Kaul Advisory Group.
McDonald’s rivals have stepped up marketing of lower-priced food in the U.S. as restaurants compete for customers. While the Big Mac seller has tried to lure diners with a menu priced at $1 to $2, Yum! Brands Inc.’s KFC chain recently began advertising $1.29 snack-sized chicken sandwiches.
Confidence among American consumers fell in August by the most in 10 months as households grew more pessimistic about employment and the economic outlook.
Yum, which also owns Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, is based in Louisville, Kentucky, and has about 37,900 stores worldwide.
McDonald’s also is facing pressure in Europe, where it gets about 40 percent of its revenue, as consumers cut spending amid government austerity measures there. In some European markets, McDonald’s has advertised less expensive items, such as smaller sandwiches in France, to draw budget-conscious consumers.
The company has more than 33,700 stores globally, of which about 20 percent are company owned and operated.