NEW YORK (AP) — McDonald's says a key sales figure dropped again in January as the world's biggest hamburger chain struggled with ongoing weakness in Japan and supply chain issues in China.
The company, based in Oak Brook, Ill., said global sales at restaurants open at least 13 months dropped 1.9% for the month. The figure is a key metric because it strips out the volatility of newly opened and closed locations.
After years of outperforming rivals, McDonald's has been struggling amid intensifying competition and challenging economic conditions around the world.
Late last year, the company ousted the head of its U.S. business after sales dropped for the first time in nearly a decade. CEO Don Thompson, who took the top spot this summer, has vowed to add business by focusing on value while planning new limited-time offers to attract customers.
Thompson warned last month that sales were trending negative for January.
In the region encompassing Asia, the Middle East and Africa, McDonald's said its sales sank 9.5% in January. McDonald's has been struggling in Japan, where it says customers have been eating at home more often since the earthquake and tsunami in 2011.