Sales at McDonald’s restaurants slipped 1.5% last month, but not because of global economic difficulties or fast-casual competition.
The fast food behemoth attributed the slide to the difficulty of comparing February’s performance against the same month in 2012, which had an extra day due to the leap year.
Factoring out the calendar quirk, the Oak Brook, Ill., company said its worldwide same-store sales at restaurants open at least 13 months rose 1.7%.
Same deal with its U.S. sales, which dipped 3.3%. But after stripping the effect of the leap day, the gauge was flat, even though the chain tried to boost sales with the recently added Grilled Onion Cheddar Burger and the Hot ‘n Spicy McChicken.
The limited-time Fish McBites offer helped keep revenue steady, according to the chain.
In the growing Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa region, same store sales slid 1.6%. Factoring out the extra day brought the gauge up 1.5%. Japan continued to suffer weakness, but sales in China were robust due in part to the Chinese New Year.
“While February’s results reflect difficult prior year comparisons, we remain confient in the fundamental strength of McDonald’s business,” said Chief Executive Don Thompson, who stepped into his position this summer.
McDonald’s stock was up about 1.6%, or $1.51, at $98.60 a share in midday trading in New York.
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