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.
Malaysia Airlines plane crash exposes alarming flaw in airline security: over one billion flights made last year without stolen-passport check
International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
Teacher shows sex tape featuring herself to pupils during class by mistake
Swarm of killer bees sting woman 1,000 times
Dead woman's body found sitting in a car after six years after direct debits ran $54,000 bank account dry
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Vince Cable: Teachers 'know absolutely nothing' about the world of work
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
- 1 International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
- 2 Australian man Rod Sommerville reacts to bite from deadly snake by reaching for cold beer
- 3 Teacher shows sex tape featuring herself to pupils during class by mistake
- 4 Singapore sting: Sky-high prices are pushing locals to the edge of affordability
- 5 Swarm of killer bees sting woman 1,000 times
iJobs Money & Business
£42000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Big 4 - Specialis...
£500 - £600 per day: Harrington Starr: Agile Scrum Master Certified Scrum Mast...
£45000 - £60000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: A leading prov...
£50000 - £60000 per annum + Bonus and Benefits: Harrington Starr: Harrington S...