• Fri
  • Dec 19, 2014
  • Updated: 7:33am

McDonald’s sales forecast ‘at risk’ after China food scare

McDonald’s global comparable sales fall 2.5pc in July in wake of ‘rotten meat’ scandal

PUBLISHED : Friday, 08 August, 2014, 9:27pm
UPDATED : Friday, 08 August, 2014, 9:27pm
 

McDonald’s said its global sales forecast for this year was at risk after a food scare forced it to temporarily withdraw menu items such as Big Macs and Spicy McWings in China.

Shares of the world’s largest burger chain were down 0.6 per cent US$92.77 premarket on Friday.

McDonald’s said this month that sales in markets, including China and Japan, were experiencing a “significant negative impact” following a local Chinese TV report on July 20 that showed workers at a supplier using expired meat and doctoring food production dates.

Food safety authorities in Hong Kong say they were misled by McDonald’s during its investigation last month into whether rotten meat from a factory in Shanghai was sold to Hongkongers.

McDonald's issued another apology yesterday for its part in the rotten meat scandal, saying a "lack of clarity" had confused people.

But the fast-food giant, accused of knowingly selling potentially tainted food, did not answer when asked if there had been a cover-up and refused to take questions on the debacle.

The company said in July it expected full-year global comparable sales to be “relatively flat” due to increased competition, pricing and other cost pressures.

“However, as a result of the China supplier issue, the company’s global comparable sales forecast for this year is now at risk,” the company said on Friday.

McDonald’s said same-restaurant sales in Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa fell 7.3 per cent in July.

Worldwide comparable sales at restaurants open at least 13 months fell 2.5 per cent last month.

Analysts on average had expected a 1.1 per cent fall, according to research firm Consensus Metrix.

Food safety authorities in Hong Kong say they were misled by McDonald’s during its investigation last month into whether rotten meat from a factory in Shanghai was sold to Hongkongers.

The fast-food giant has been struggling in its home market, where tough competition from Wendy’s and Burger King, as well as sluggish job and wage growth, are hurting sales.

US same-restaurant sales fell 3.2 per cent in July. Those sales have been down or flat since November last year.

Analysts polled by Consensus Metrix had expected a 2.6 per cent fall in comparable sales in the United States.

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