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McDonald's Q1 global same-store sales tumble 3.4% amid COVID-19

Heidi Chung
Reporter

McDonald’s (MCD) reported revenue and earnings that contracted in the first quarter compared to last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here were the main numbers for McDonald’s first quarter, compared to Bloomberg-compiled estimates:

  • Revenue: $4.71 billion vs. $4.65 billion expected, $5.02 billion YoY

  • Adj. EPS: $1.47 vs. $1.57 expected, $1.72 YoY

  • Global same-store sales: -3.4% vs. +5.4% YoY

  • U.S. same-store sales: +0.1% vs. +4.5% YoY

"Following our strong performance in 2019, McDonald’s began 2020 with exceptional global momentum, and our January and February sales were reflective of that trend. Since then, the global crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly disrupted our business, and we continue to operate in a very challenging and unpredictable environment,” CEO Chris Kempczinski said in a statement.

Total same-store sales increased by 7.2% in January and February but then sank 22.2% in March. In the U.S., McDonald’s same-store sales jumped 8.1% in the first two months of the year, but then the burger chain saw same-store sales tumble 13.4% in March.

Meanwhile, same-store sales fell 34.7% in March in its international operated markets segment, which includes France, Italy and the UK. Its international developmental licensed markets and corporate restaurants segment, which includes China, Japan and Brazil, saw same-store sales tumble 19.4% during the month.

A Quarter Pounder hamburger is served at a McDonald's restaurant on March 30, 2017 in Effingham, Illinois. (Photo Illustration by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Seventy-five percent of total McDonald’s stores are currently in operation. China has resumed operations at 99% of its stores but stores in the region are experiencing lower demand as consumers have not returned to their full pre-COVID routines, according to the company. About 65% of restaurants in Brazil are operating, and McDonald’s stores in Japan are running very limited operations.

McDonald’s first-quarter results follow the company’s pre-announcement at the beginning of April. At the time, McDonald’s withdrew both its 2020 guidance as well as its long-term outlook.

“The world is going through a historic event, with profound consequences for McDonald’s, for the restaurant industry and for humanity at large,” Kempczinski said in a statement April 8. Kempczinski also said that he will be reducing his salary by half until at least September 30, and four other execs would also be taking 25% salary cuts.

The fast food giant said it would be slashing its capex by $1 billion this year as a result of challenges related to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Ahead of the earnings report, McDonald’s shares were down 4% this year and outperformed the broader market’s 8% decline during the same time period.

McDonald’s earnings conference call kicks off at 8:30 a.m. ET.

This post is developing. Please check back for updates.

Heidi Chung is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @heidi_chung.

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