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McDonald’s Japan suffers record annual net loss

JIJI

McDonald’s Holdings Co. (Japan) said it suffered a group net loss of ¥34.704 billion in the business year that ended in December, due chiefly to food safety problems.

The figure was worse than the preceding year’s net loss of ¥21.843 billion, the fast-food company said Tuesday.

Sales plunged 14.8 percent year on year to ¥189.473 billion. The net result and sales were both the worst since the company’s stock listing in 2001.

Sales at all stores, including franchise outlets, fell 15.6 percent to ¥376.5 billion.

Customer numbers dropped after foreign objects were found in the company’s products in and after January last year.

The firm’s earnings were also pushed down by costs related to the closure of many outlets.

The operating loss expanded to ¥25.233 billion in 2015 from the preceding year’s ¥6.714 billion, and its recurring loss increased to ¥27.691 billion from ¥7.974 billion.

For the current business year, the company projects a group net profit of ¥1 billion. It aims to boost sales by refurbishing some 500 to 600 outlets.

Sara Casanova, president of the company, said the burger chain started to regain momentum in the second half of last year, and that she is sure 2016 will be a good year for the company.

She said it is premature to comment on a plan by U.S. chain McDonald’s Corp. to sell its stake in the Japanese unit.