McDonald’s: Reports First Quarter 2021 Results

Chicago / IL. (mdc) McDonald’s Corporation announced results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2021. «Our first quarter 2021 global comparable sales and revenues surpassed first quarter 2019 levels, even as resurgences and operating restrictions persist in many parts of the world. I continue to be inspired by the resilience of our crew members, franchisees, suppliers, and company employees as we lead with our values and stay true to our purpose of feeding and fostering communities,» said McDonald’s President and Chief Executive Officer Chris Kempczinski. «Our teams around the world are focused on executing our Accelerating the Arches strategy at the highest level – we’re maximizing our marketing in a culturally relevant way, committed to the great tasting customer favorites on our core menu and doubling-down on digital, delivery and drive thru to create a faster and easier customer experience.»

First quarter financial performance

  • Global comparable sales increased 7.5 percent, reflecting positive comparable sales across all segments: 13.6 percent in the U.S.; 0.6 percent in the International Operated segment; and 6.4 percent in the International Developmental Licensed segment.
  • Consolidated revenues increased 9 percent (5 percent in constant currencies).
  • Systemwide sales increased 12 percent (8 percent in constant currencies).
  • Consolidated operating income increased 35 percent (30 percent in constant currencies) and included USD 135 million of strategic gains primarily related to the sale of McDonald’s Japan stock. Excluding these gains, operating income increased 27 percent (22 percent in constant currencies).
  • Diluted earnings per share of USD 2.05 increased 39 percent (35 percent in constant currencies). Excluding USD 0.13 per share of strategic gains, diluted earnings per share was USD 1.92 for the quarter, an increase of 31 percent (27 percent in constant currencies).

Comparable sales

(Change between …) Q1-2021 Q1-2020
U.S. 13.6% 0.1%
International Operated Markets 0.6 (6.9)
International Developmental Licensed Markets and Corporate 6.4 (4.3)
Total 7.5% (3.4)%


  • Comparable Sales: Quarterly comparable sales results were positive across all segments as we began to lap the significant impact of Covid-19 on our global results beginning in March 2020. Guest counts remained negative for all segments.
    • U.S.: Comparable sales results benefited from average check growth with double digit positive comparable sales across all dayparts. The Company’s strong national menu and marketing offerings, as well as growth in delivery and digital platforms, contributed to the comparable sales growth.
    • International Operated Markets: Results reflected strong positive comparable sales in the U.K., Australia and Canada, partly offset by significantly negative comparable sales in France and Germany. Comparable sales in many markets continued to be impacted by varying levels of government imposed Covid-19 restrictions on restaurant operations.
    • International Developmental Licensed Markets: Monthly comparable sales results improved sequentially throughout the quarter. The strong quarterly comparable sales were primarily driven by China and Japan.

Key financial metrics – consolidated

(USD in millions, except per share data) Q1-2021 Q1-2020 Change
Revenues USD 5,124.6 USD 4,714.4 9%
Operating income 2,281.3 1,693.6 35%
Net income 1,537.2 1,106.9 39%
Earnings per share-diluted USD 2.05 USD 1.47 39%

Results for the quarter reflected stronger operating performance in the U.S. due to higher sales-driven restaurant margins. Results for the quarter included USD 135 million of pre-tax strategic gains, or USD 0.13 per share, primarily related to the sale of McDonald’s Japan stock, which reduced the Company’s ownership by an additional 3 percent. Foreign currency translation had a positive impact of USD 0.06 on diluted earnings per share for the quarter.

For additional information please refer to the company’s news release (PDF | 66 KB):