• Kyodo

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McDonald’s Holdings Co. (Japan) is reporting a group net profit of ¥158 million for the January-June half, returning to profitability after years of slumping sales triggered by food safety scandals.

The Japanese unit of the global fast-food chain posted a group operating profit of ¥47 million on sales of ¥104.89 billion for the six-month period through June 30.

That compared to a net loss of ¥26.22 billion, operating loss of ¥18.29 billion and sales of ¥85.28 billion over the same period a year earlier.

Several scandals surfaced in 2014, including a Chinese-based meat supplier caught relabeling expired chicken, which drove customers away. The company posed a record loss in the January-June period of 2015.

It attributed the turnaround in the first half of 2016 to robust sales of new menu items and the closing of unprofitable restaurants nationwide.

For the full year through Dec. 31, McDonald’s Japan left its earnings outlook unchanged. It is projecting a net profit of ¥1 billion and operating profit of ¥3.3 billion on sales of ¥220 billion, up 16.1 percent from the previous year.

McDonald’s has announced a deal to collaborate with Nintendo Co. on the “Pokemon Go” game.

The fast-food chain has been making its restaurants key locations for players. The move is expected to help boost sales, some analysts say, but McDonald’s has yet to reflect the impact of the tie-up on its earnings outlook.

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