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UPDATE 2-McDonald's Nov sales miss as U.S. weakness persists

Monday, 9 Dec 2013 | 10:14 AM ET

Dec 9 (Reuters) - McDonald's Corp continued to grapple with slack demand and intense competition in November, as weakness in the United States, Germany and Japan dragged on sales at established restaurants.

"McDonald's is still struggling more mightily than their Mighty Wings," said ITG research analyst Steve West, who added that the chain may have to boost promotions to turn the tide.

Due to its large size and other factors, McDonald's has not reacted as quickly to changing demand as smaller rivals such as Wendy's Co and Burger King Worldwide Inc, which have barraged the market with limited-time specials and promotions.

McDonald's had signaled that weakness would continue in the fourth quarter amid stiff competition and halting global economic growth, even coming up against weak results last year.

Worldwide sales at McDonald's restaurants open at least 13 months rose 0.5 percent last month, slightly missing analysts' estimate.

Same-restaurant sales fell 0.8 percent in the United States, versus the 0.3 percent gain expected, on average, by 14 analysts polled by Consensus Metrix.

McDonald's, the world's biggest fast-food chain by revenue, said intense competition and relatively weak customer traffic hurt sales in the United States, its second biggest market after Europe.

U.S. analysts have said an onslaught of new menu items such as lattes, smoothies, salads and wraps has slowed McDonald's service and hurt business.

Same-restaurant sales in Europe rose 1.9 percent, topping the average analyst estimate of 0.8 percent, with weakness in Germany more than offset by strength in the United Kingdom, France and Russia.

Declines in Japan weighed on comparable sales in Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa region, which fell 2.3 percent. Analysts, on average, estimated a 0.7 percent decline. Sales in Japan have been weak for the past seven months.

Shares of the Oakbrook, Illinois-based company were down 1.1 percent at $95.73 in early trading on Monday.

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