McDonald’s UK growth boosted by smoothies

McDonald’s marketing activity to promote its new smoothie range, Great Tastes of America burger promotion and a campaign to highlight its food provenance helped boost UK sales in the last quarter.

The fast food chain says its “solid performance” in the UK almost helped offset negative results in Germany and France in the quarter to 30 June. Sales in Europe were down 0.1 per cent, although the company told The Independent UK sales grew in “mid-single digits” over the quarter – its 29th consecutive quarter of growth.

McDonald’s has launched several marketing initiatives in the quarter, including the launch of its iced fruit smoothie range, which UK chief executive Jill McDonald told The Independent is turning its 1,200 UK restaurants into a “a beverage destination as well as a food destination”. 

In April McDonald’s launched a TV and print advertising campaign to highlight the provenance of its pork, while the rest of the UK food industry was embroiled in the horse meat scandal. 

Later on the quarter, McDonald’s launched a TV brand campaign highlighting the similarities between an old man and a group of young people living on a London estate to reflect how the brand can play a central role in families and relationships. 

McDonald’s has also continued to run seasonal activity, such as its Great Tastes of America burger and campaigns around its breakfast products.

Commenting on McDonald’s UK performance, Jill McDonald says in a statement: “We know it’s still tough out there for everyone and that’s why I’m determined to maintain momentum by continuing to invest in the long term growth of our business – our restaurants, our people and quality ingredients that are responsibly sourced – to ensure our customers enjoy a great experience at great value every time they visit.”

McDonald’s is also “on track” to create the 2,500 jobs it targeted at the start of the year, having employees more than 1,500 people so far. It has also opened 14 new restaurants in this time.

Globally, revenue grew 2 per cent to $7.09bn, while net income rose 4 per cent to $1.4bn. Both figures trailed analysts’ estimates.

Don Thompson, McDonald’s president and chief executive officer, says the company’s results for the remainder of the year are expected to remain “challenged” and global comparable sales for July “relatively flat”.

He adds: “Throughout McDonald’s history, we have succeeded in a variety of operating and economic environments. I am confident that our System, global infrastructure and the unique and evolving McDonald’s brand experience will enable us to deliver sustained profitable growth for the long-term.”

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