Comparable sales in Europe gained 0.6 percent. Ongoing weakness in Germany was largely offset by continued strong performance in the United Kingdom and positive results in France. Local menu options, breakfast and extended hours lifted the segment's performance.
"McDonald's global growth priorities — optimizing our menu, modernizing the customer experience and broadening accessibility to Brand McDonald's — are the foundation of our customer-centric approach to building our business for the long term," said Don Thompson, president and CEO. "We are intent on improving our business performance by thoughtfully evolving our approach to ensure that we are delivering the most compelling value, service and convenience to each of the approximately 70 million customers who choose McDonald's each day."
Sales for the month declined 2.6 percent in the Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa (APMEA) segment. The company attributed results to negative results in Australia, weakness in Japan and, to a lesser extent, a shift in the timing of the Chinese New Year. Efforts to improve segment performance include pursuing customer-focused initiatives to drive menu variety, increased convenience and branded affordability.
"We are diligently focused on strengthening our performance, however our relatively flat year-to-date global comparable sales will pressure margins in the first quarter," said Pete Bensen, McDonald's CFO. "Looking ahead, we believe that we are taking the right actions to more clearly align with our customers' needs and build momentum to drive long-term profitable growth."