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article imageMcDonald's reports profit overall despite decline in U.S. sales

By Nathan Salant     Jul 24, 2015 in Food
New York City - The world's largest hamburger chain is still looking for the magic formula to beef up its menu and reverse years of declining U.S. sales.
McDonald's Corp. CEO Steve Easterbrook told a conference call with investors and analysts Thursday that the international fast-food giant was still examining possible changes in its offerings to reverse a steady three-year decline in U.S. sales.
"There is no silver bullet," Easterbrook said, according to the Associated Press.
" No one move will turn a business that has been in decline for nearly three years," he said.
The conference call came as McDonald's reported a second-quarter profit of $1.2 billion, more than Wall Street had expected but still the seventh straight quarterly sales drop for the corporate giant.
McDonald's said consumers were not responding as well as hoped to recent changes in its offerings, including the addition of a sirloin burger, changes in the way it prepared burgers and discontinuation of many unpopular menu items, the AP said.
Easterbrook had championed those changes, and others, such as terminating McDonald's dollar menu and serving some breakfast items all day, as he implemented turnaround plans aimed at restoring McDonald's to its usual place as king of fast-food.
But the iconic company still reported a 2 percent decline in U.S. sales for the second quarter, a decline partially offset by increases in European sales.
Sales for McDonald's Asia, Middle East and Africa segment fell 4.5 percent,
Easterbrook conceded that new menu deals, such as offering a double cheeseburger and french fries for $2.50 in June, would not be enough to replace the popular dollar menu.
But Easterbrook said customers were beginning to appreciate the chain's more-subtle menu tweaks, such as longer toasting of its burger buns and better searing of burgers to lock in more flavor.
"That gets noticed by customers," he said.
McDonald's reports of sales declines come in contrast to results from some of its largest competitors.
Yum Brands reported its Taco Bell stores had increased sales by 6 percent for the quarter, burrito chain Chipotle reported a 4.3 increase and Dunkin' Donuts said its quarterly sales were up 2.9 percent, the AP said.
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