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McDonald's: profit, sales drop on Covid-19 'disruption'

( - McDonald's, the world's largest restaurant chain by sales, reported a 17% drop in first-quarter earnings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused "shelter-in-place" measures and restaurant closures.

The burger giant said its net income fell to 1.1 billion dollars, or 1.47 dollar per share, in the past quarter, from 1.3 billion dollars, or 1.72 dollar per share, in the first three months of 2019.

The chain's s quarterly revenue fell by 6% to 4.7 billion dollars, as global comparable sales dropped by 3.4%. In March, global comparable sales slid 22.2%, the group said.

"The global crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly disrupted our business, and we continue to operate in a very challenging and unpredictable environment," said CEO Chris Kempczinski.

McDonald's said the sales trends from the second half of March have continued into April, and are expected to continue for as long as lockdowns and restrictions are in place.

Even so, approximately 75% of its restaurants worldwide remain open to serve customers, most of which have decided to focus on drive-through, delivery, and take-away meals.

McDonald's shares were down 1.2% in pre-market trading on Thursday as these quarterly earnings and sales fell short of expectations.

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