McDonalds Corp, in contrast with struggling competitors and the overall retail market, plans to expand greatly in 2009 in Europe, a senior executive said on Friday.
Many restaurant and retail chains struggled in 2008, closing stores amidst the global economic downturn.
On Monday, McDonald’s confirmed earlier press reports that it will spend about $1.1 billion — more than half its total global investment funding in 2009 — to revamp scores of existing restaurants in Europe and open 240 new ones there. That effort will not only focus on relatively new markets in Eastern Europe like Russia and Poland, but also sink roots deeper in West European nations like Italy, Spain and France — generating about 12,000 badly needed new jobs in the process.
As part of that expansion plan, McDonald’s says it will add about 400 new McCafés to the 800 outlets it already operates in Europe. Viewed from any angle, this kind of spending indicates that Ronald McDonald is feeling bullish about his future in Europe — the dismal global economic slowdown be damned.
The company performed well in 2008, seeing its share price go up by 7 percent. It was one of few companies which belong to the Dow Jones Industrial Average, to go up, the FT says. The increase has come mostly due to its low cost menus.
Analysts forecast McDonalds’ will report on Monday that profit rose 10 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008, according to FT