NEW YORK (AP) — McDonald's Corp. is blaming a sluggish economy for keeping a key sales figure flat in July.
The world's biggest hamburger chain says revenue at restaurants open at least 13 months was the same as a year ago, as diners pulled back amid a tough economy. After years of outperforming expectations, even through the recession, the results are the latest sign that McDonald's is starting to feel the effects of the global economic volatility.
In the U.S., where the sales figure dipped 0.1 percent, the company said its promotions failed to drive growth. The Oak Brook, Ill.-based company also says it faced a tough comparison with last July, when it launched the mango pineapple smoothie.
The figure dipped 0.6 percent in Europe because of weakness in Germany and several Southern European markets. It fell 1.5 percent in the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa region — a key growth area for McDonald's.
Sales in Latin America and Canada, which are not reported separately, helped pull overall results even with last year.
Revenue in restaurants open at least 13 months is a key measure of a restaurant chain's performance because it excludes the impact of recently opened or closed stores. It does include the company's temporarily closed restaurants.
The figures are a snapshot of money spent on food at both company-owned and franchised restaurants. They do not reflect corporate revenue.
Last month, the company said its net income fell 4 percent in the second quarter as unfavorable currency exchange rates and high costs ate into profits.
Shares of McDonald's fell $2.64, or 3 percent, to $86.37.