McDonald’s shook off its long sales slump, posting quarterly increases in sales in older stores for the first time in two years.
The company’s same-store sales, reflecting sales in stores open more than a year, grew 4 percent in the third quarter, which ended Sept. 30. More important, its troubled stores in the United States showed growth, albeit anemic at 0.9 percent.
“Consumers have more choices than ever about where to dine, and our operational-growth-led turnaround is focused on appealing to customers in the areas that matter most to them — great-tasting, high-quality food, convenience and value,” McDonald’s chief executive Steve Easterbrook said in a news release.
Overall sales were down 5 percent, to $6.6 billion from $7 billion in the same period a year ago, as the strong dollar dented reported figures. Adjusting for the currency swing, sales would have grown 7 percent.
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Earnings grew to $1.3 billion, or $1.40 a share, a 23 percent increase from the same period a year ago, when McDonald’s earned $1.1 billion, or $1.09 a share. When adjusted for exchange rates, the increase in earnings would have been a startling 44 percent.
Easterbrook noted the success of the company’s Premium Buttermilk Crispy Chicken Deluxe Sandwich and the positive impact of returning to the original recipe for the Egg McMuffin, with fewer ingredients.
The company recently began offering customers some items on its breakfast menu all day long. Although the impact of that initiative was not reflected in the third-quarter performance, investment analysts expect it to help sales going forward.