One glaring exception to the current Recession madness is McDonald's, which just announced strong operating results for the fourth quarter of 2008 -- and declared its intention to build 1,000 new stores this year.
"2008 was a strong year for McDonald's," said Chief Executive Officer
Skinner credits "Plan to Win" for a percentage of his company's success. The strategic blueprint was drawn up by McDonald's executives six years ago so the then-hurting chain could focus on what worked best.
Full year 2008 highlights included:
-- Global comparable sales increase of 6.9%, including U.S. 4.0%, Europe 8.5%, and Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa 9.0%
-- Operating income increases in the U.S. 8%, Europe 23% (17% in constant currencies) and Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa 33% (28% in constant currencies)
McDonald's saw significant sales growth in chicken, breakfast, beverages and convenience. The chain has introduced the Southern Style Chicken biscuit and sandwich to its menu, improved its drive-thru service and efficiency, and tapped into the specialty coffee market.
"McDonald's begins 2009 with six years of momentum," Skinner says. "A business model that has delivered even in challenging economic conditions and January sales that remain strong...For 2009, we plan to invest
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