OAK BROOK, ILL. — McDonald’s Corp. ended its fiscal year on a flat note, with a modest bump in profit that reflected ongoing marketplace challenges.
For the year ended Dec. 31, McDonald’s net income rose 2% to $5,585.9 million, equal to $5.55 per diluted share, up from $5,464.8 million, or $5.36 per share, in fiscal 2012. Total revenues increased 2% to $28,105.7 million from $27,567 million last year.
Global comparable sales for the year increased 0.2%, reflecting a higher average check that offset a drop in traffic.
“Around the world, consumers want a satisfying meal at an affordable price from a brand they trust,” said Don Thompson, president and chief executive officer. “At McDonald’s, delivering a consistent customer-focused restaurant experience continues to be our top priority. While 2013 was a challenging year, we begin 2014 with a renewed focus on the global growth priorities that are most impactful to our customers. We are uniting consumer insights with innovation and consistent execution to optimize our menu, modernize the customer experience and broaden accessibility to Brand McDonald’s.”
Net income for the fourth quarter was $1,397 million, equal to $1.40 per share, up slightly from $1,396.1 million, or $1.38 per share, in the prior-year period.
Total revenues in the quarter increased 2% to $7,093.2 million from $6,952.1 million during the fourth quarter last year.
The launch of the new Dollar Menu & More and new limited-time offers weren’t enough to lift U.S. comparable sales, which declined 1.4% during the quarter, while operating income increased 1%.
Elsewhere, Europe’s operating income increased 3% on strong performance in the United Kingdom, Russia and France, partially offset by weakness in Germany. Comparable sales grew 1% in the quarter.
In the APMEA region, quarterly comparable sales decreased 2.4% and operating income dropped 8%, reflecting poor performance in Japan and flat results in China and Australia.
“The McDonald’s system is pursuing the long-term opportunities that exist within the global marketplace by investing in the business to build upon the solid foundation that is already in place and drive future growth and value for our system and shareholders,” Mr. Thompson said.
For 2014, the company is targeting capital expenditures at $2.9 billion to $3 billion, with 1,500 to 1,600 new restaurant openings and the reimaging of more than 1,000 existing locations. McDonald’s said it expects to return $5 billion to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases.
“As we begin 2014, global comparable sales for the month of January are expected to be relatively flat,” Mr. Thompson said. “While near-term challenges remain, we are intent on strengthening our brand to further differentiate McDonald’s and become an even bigger part of our customers’ lives. We have an outstanding brand, the best franchisees, suppliers and employees in the industry and distinct competitive advantages along with the right strategies to deliver sustained, profitable growth over the long term.”