McDonald's profits fall as strong dollar hits earnings

McDonald's McDonald's sales have held up in China

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McDonald's has reported worse-than-expected third-quarter profits, after being hit by the strength of the dollar and increasing competition.

Net income fell to $1.46bn (£911m) for the quarter, down from $1.51bn a year earlier.

Total sales were barely changed at $7.15bn, down from $7.17bn last year.

McDonald's chief executive, said that sales had kicked off October at a lower level than the same time last year and its shares closed down 4.5%.

'Significant opportunities'

McDonald's said that sales at stores open at least 13 months rose 1.9% across the group as a whole, below analysts' expectations of a 2% increase.

In the US, sales grew by 1.2%, but operating income fell by 1%.

In Europe, underlying sales were up 1.8%. Operating income fell 7%, but if the impact of the dollar is stripped out it rose 3%. The stronger dollar means international sales are worth less when profits are repatriated.

Sales across the Middle East, Africa and the Asia-Pacific region grew by 1.4% as footfall rose, helped by solid trading in China and Australia.

Chief executive Don Thompson said that while sales would carry on experiencing pressure, the company saw "significant long-term opportunities" for its brand and remained "confident in the underlying strength of our business model".

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