McSlump: burger giant goes into the red
Wednesday 18 December 2002
A little bit more of the bite went out of McDonald's yesterday as the world's largest but increasingly unpopular hamburger chain announced the first quarterly loss in its 50-year history.
Already under pressure from anti-globalisation protesters, children's health advocates, anti-American guerrilla groups, labour unions and complaining consumers, the fast-food giant found new sources of disapproval on Wall Street as it admitted that year-on-year sales for the fourth quarter were down 1.6 per cent worldwide. Even in the United States, still the company's core market, sales were down more than 1 per cent, despite an aggressive discounting strategy that has triggered a price war with its rivals Burger King, Wendy's and Taco Bell.
McDonald's has already announced a $390m (£240m) write-down for "restructuring" – corporate jargon referring to the closure of 175 restaurants worldwide and the loss of up to 600 executive jobs. Yesterday's profit forecast, a brief preview of the full quarterly figures, suggested the eventual write-down for the quarter could go even higher.
McDonald's shares were pummelled on the New York Stock Exchange in response to the news, falling more than 8 per cent in morning trading to their lowest level in eight years.
This is not a good time to be in the fast-food business, with regular headlines about child obesity rates, food infection scares involving hamburger meat, lawsuits over the fat content of chain-produced meals and any number of protests that take aim at McDonald's as an undesirable symbol of American power across the world.
While anti-globalisation protesters stage pickets and pull off stunts such as José Bové's effort to rip the roof off a McDonald's in France, more virulent anti-American groups have bombed McDonald's outlets in China, Turkey, Russia, Indonesia and, just last week, India.
Fracking is turning the US into a bigger oil producer than Saudi Arabia
Missing Malaysia Airlines plane: Details emerge of two young Iranians using stolen passports in search for a better life
Three-quarters of Britons are saying it wrong - the top ten most common mispronunciations
Oscar Pistorius trial: Athlete's friend asked him if 'he was f***ing mad' after shooting through sunroof
Oscar Pistorius trial: Forensic analyst says athlete 'was not wearing prosthetic legs' when he shot Reeva Steenkamp through locked door
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Katie Hopkins continues campaign to become Britain's most hated talking head with poorly timed Bob Crow tweet
Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
No EU referendum under Labour: Ed Miliband to reveal that vote on membership is ‘unlikely’ in next Parliament if party wins power
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
- 1 Three-quarters of Britons are saying it wrong - the top ten most common mispronunciations
- 2 Boy George: Bad karma
- 3 Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
- 4 First Kiss video: Filmmaker gets 20 strangers to make out on YouTube with awkward results
- 5 Ian Wright breaks down in ITV documentary charting his rise to Arsenal and England striker
iJobs Money & Business
£45000 - £55000 per annum + Bonus and Benefits: Harrington Starr: One of the i...
£57000 - £77000 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Top 10 Specialist...
£350 - £450 per day: Harrington Starr: Harrington Starr are currently working ...
£40000 - £60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Application Support - FIX protoco...