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25/07/01 . SkyNews . SkyNews . UK  
 
Chips Are Down For McDonald's  
 
A combination of CJD and the foot and mouth crisis has hit burger chain Mcdonald's hard.  

The company has unveiled a slump in second quarter profits - and is threatening to close 250 restaurants.

Jack Greenberg, chairman and chief executive, said the past six months had been tough and he added the group was considering shutting 250 underperforming outlets as a result.

Over

For the three months to June, net earnings dropped 16 per cent to hit $440.9m (310.6m) while sales were flat at $10.24bn (7.21bn).

But there is a glimmer of hope. Recent sales improvements in the poorly-performing European markets may signal the worst of the food scare are over.

Mr Greenberg added: "While these results are below trend line, we are encouraged by improved performance in Europe, where we saw sequential improvement in comparable sales throughout the quarter."

Emerging

Most of the 250 restaurants being assessed for closure are based in 'emerging markets' rather than well-established locations, the company said.

McDonald's has more than 29,000 restaurants in over 120 countries, of which about 1,100 are in the UK.

* The group also reported interim results today: For the first six months of 2001, net income was $819.2 m (677.1m), down 16 per cent on last year's figure. Sales showed a modest increase, from $19.74bn (13.91bn) a year ago to $19.89bn (14.01bn).  
 
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