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AP story section

November 9, 2013

McDonald's October sales figure edges up

The Associated Press

OAK BROOK, Ill. — McDonald’s Corp. says a key revenue figure edged up 0.5 percent in October, as the world’s biggest hamburger chain’s better results in the U.S. and Europe offset a decline in Asia.

After outperforming rivals for years, McDonald’s has been facing weaker sales due to heightened competition, shifting eating habits and tough economic conditions around the world.

To boost sales, the company has been taking a two-pronged approach. On the one end, it’s playing up its Dollar Menu and other affordable options to draw in customers who may be watching their spending more carefully. At the same time, McDonald’s also is trying to adjust its image and menu to better reflect healthier eating habits.

In the U.S., for example, the company recently rolled out chicken wraps and the option to substitute egg whites in any of its breakfast sandwiches. Early next year, it also said it will start giving customers the option to pick a salad instead of fries with their value meals.

The world’s biggest hamburger chain reported the gain in revenue at stores open at least 13 months for the period ended Oct. 31.

This figure is a key gauge of a retailer’s health because it excludes results from stores recently opened or closed.

The metric rose 0.8 percent in Europe, led by the U.K., France and Russia. In the U.S., the metric edged up 0.2 percent on the strength of its Mighty Wings and Pumpkin Spice latte limited-time offers.

The figure fell 2.8 percent in the region encompassing Asia, the Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, hurt by weakness in Japan.

McDonald’s shares edged down 3 cents to $97.17 in premarket trading. The stock has risen 10 percent over the past year.

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