McDonald’s on Thursday said its first-quarter earnings fell 17% as the coronavirus pandemic led to restaurant closures and plunging sales.
McDonald’s said in early April that same-store sales fell 3.4% during the first three months of the year. Sales trends are showing signs of improvement in some markets, like the United States, but executives expect steeper global same-store sales declines in the second quarter than in March. “It’s really a country-by-country situation,” CEO Chris Kempczinski said on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street.” Net sales dropped 6% to $4.71 billion as the company observed “dramatic changes in consumer behaviour” stemming from the pandemic. In McDonald’s international operated markets segment, which includes France, Spain and Italy, less than half of the restaurants are open. The segment saw a quarterly same-store sales contract 6.9% in the quarter. In April, the segment’s same-store sales are down about 70%. The company’s international developmental licensed markets business, which includes Brazil and Japan, is faring better, with 80% of locations operating. About 99% of Chinese restaurants have reopened, but the company said demand is down because consumers have not fully resumed their routines prior to the crisis. The segment’s quarterly same-store sales fell by 4.3%.