費用增加的不只牛肉，國外稅額抵扣減少使得麥當勞的實際稅率上升，勞力等成本亦呈現上升。麥當勞也在中國投資新的門市，目前門市數量約為1400家，並希望能在2013年年底前增至2000家，顯示麥當勞的策略為投資新興市場。©The Economist Newspaper Limited 2011
From The Economist
Published: October 28, 2011
McDonald's said Friday that its third-quarter net income rose by 9 percent as it kept defying a tough economy and attracting more customers. But those diners might want to get ready to pay more.
McDonald's, the world's largest hamburger chain, has performed well throughout the recession and its aftermath. But it noted potential challenges like the rising cost of beef and higher labor costs, and hinted that it could raise menu prices for the third time this year.
"The economists say we are officially out of the recession, but it hardly feels that way," Jim Skinner, the company's chief executive, said in a conference call with analysts. He referred to McDonald's gains as "hard won" victories.
The 9 percent rise in net income, to $1.51 billion, was McDonald's ninth consecutive quarter of earnings gains. Earnings per share of $1.45 beat analysts' expectations of $1.43. A 14 percent increase in revenue, to $7.17 billion, also beat the $7.02 billion predicted by analysts polled by FactSet.
McDonald's shares rose $3.31, or 3.7 percent, to close at $92.32.
McDonald's success has hinged on quickly adapting to customers' changing tastes and reshaping itself as a hip and more healthful place to eat. It has added menu items like smoothies and oatmeal, remodeled restaurants and converted more locations to 24-hour operations. All those moves, the company says, have brought in more customers.
The company's commodity costs in the United States spiked 8 percent this quarter compared with a year ago. That is higher than the second quarter's 6 percent and the first quarter's 1 percent increase.
The cost of beef, which normally declines at the end of the summer grilling season, stayed high, which McDonald's said it had not expected. The Department of Agriculture now predicts that consumers will end up paying 8 or 9 percent more for beef and veal in 2011 compared with 2010.
McDonald's has already raised prices to offset the higher ingredient costs, raising menu prices by an average of 1 percent in March and another 1.4 percent in May. The chief financial officer, Peter Bensen, said the company had experienced good "flow through" on the two price increases, meaning they had not driven away customers.
Grocery prices, which are increasing at a faster clip than restaurant prices, could also give McDonald's some room to raise prices because customers could view eating in as less of a value.
Beef was not the only expense to rise. McDonald's effective tax rate climbed because of some lower foreign tax credits. Labor costs rose, and the company invested in new restaurant openings in China, where it now has about 1,400 locations.
"Almost every category of costs is going in the wrong direction," Mr. Bensen said.
The store openings in China, where McDonald's hopes to have 2,000 locations by the end of 2013, signal its strategy to invest in emerging markets.
©The Economist Newspaper Limited 2011