McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) revealed a weaker-than-expected 0.6% dip in April same-store sales on Wednesday as the world’s largest hamburger chain grappled with tumbling international sales.
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The report highlights how while the U.S. economy continues an agonizingly slow recovery, Europe and many other markets are stalling.
“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,” McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson said in a statement.
Overall, global same-store sales fell 0.6% last month, narrowly trailing forecasts from analysts for a more modest 0.48% contraction.
McDonald’s said its domestic same-store sales gained 0.7% in April, citing the introduction of premium McWraps and continued popularity of its breakfast options.
However, same-store sales slumped 2.4% in Europe last month as positive performance in the U.K. and Russia was dwarfed by weakness in Germany, France and other markets.
Sales also retreated 2.9% in McDonald’s Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa division, with management citing the impact of the Avian flu in China and “softer results” in Japan and Australia.
Systemwide sales slipped 0.4%, but rose 1.9% in constant currencies.
Shares of Oak Brook, Ill.-based McDonald’s were inactive ahead of Wednesday’s opening bell. They have rallied 16% year-to-date, but less than 10% over the past 12 months.