We're building a better McDonald's, and more customers are noticing, McDonald's president and chief executive officer Steve Easterbrook said this week when the company released its second-quarter results for the period ended June 30, 2017.
"Our relentless commitment to running great restaurants and keeping the customer at the center of everything we do is generating broad-based strength and momentum across our entire business," Easterbrook said. “For the quarter, we delivered our strongest global comparable sales and guest count results in more than five years. We're now introducing our Velocity Growth Plan accelerators in more restaurants around the world, bringing meaningful benefits to more customers through digital, delivery and our Experience of the Future."
Second-quarter highlights include:
- Global comparable sales increased 6.6%, reflecting positive guest counts in all segments.
- Consolidated revenues decreased 3% (2% in constant currencies) due to the impact of the company's strategic refranchising initiative.
- System-wide sales increased 8% in constant currencies due to strong comparable sales performance and restaurant expansion.
- Consolidated operating income increased 24% (26% in constant currencies), which included a benefit from the prior year's strategic charges of approximately $230 million.
- Diluted earnings per share of $1.70 increased 36% (38% in constant currencies). Excluding the impact of the current-quarter and prior-year strategic charges of 3 cents and 20 cents per share, respectively, diluted earnings per share increased 19% (21% in constant currencies).
- The company returned $1.8 billion to shareholders through share repurchases and dividends.
In the U.S., second-quarter comparable sales increased 3.9%, reflecting the national cold beverage value promotion and the launch of the Signature Crafted premium sandwich platform.
“The U.S. continues to build momentum as it executes strategies to enhance convenience, strengthen value and innovate around the menu to bring more customers to McDonald's more often," the company said. Operating income for the quarter increased 5%, reflecting higher sales-driven franchised margin dollars, general-and-accounting savings and higher gains on sales of restaurants.
Comparable sales for the International Lead segment increased 6.3% for the quarter, led by continued momentum in the U.K., strong performance in Canada and Germany and positive results across all other markets. The segment's operating income increased 8% (13% in constant currencies), fueled primarily by sales-driven improvements in franchised margin dollars.
In the High Growth segment, second-quarter comparable sales increased 7.0%, led by strong performance in China and positive results across the entire segment. The segment's operating income rose 28%, with about half of the increase resulting from lower depreciation expense due to the accounting treatment related to the pending sale of the China and Hong Kong businesses.
In the Foundational Markets & Corporate segment, second-quarter comparable sales rose 13.0%, and operating income increased significantly, led by very strong performance in Japan as well as strong results across the segment's other geographic regions. The segment also benefited from comparison to the prior year's strategic charges.
Easterbrook concluded, "Whilst we're encouraged by our results from the first half of 2017, we're not complacent. Today, we're acting like a leadership brand, taking on new challenges and opportunities and moving with a greater sense of purpose and urgency. We're building on our momentum, leveraging our size and scale and executing with greater precision against our priorities to retain, regain and convert customers by giving them even more reasons to visit and enjoy McDonald's. I'm confident that we're on the right path to continue positively impacting sales, guest traffic and customer satisfaction as we work to bring the biggest benefit to the most people in the shortest possible time."