US fast-food giant McDonald's said Monday its 2008 net profit soared 80 percent from a year, lifted by growing demand from consumers seeking low-cost meals in a deepening global recession.Can you imagine the reaction if an oil company announced an 80% increase in profits in one year? Senate hearings would begin by Tuesday morning as sneering liberals preened for the cameras and castigated the executives for their heartlessness.
Net profit for the full year totaled 4.3 billion dollars, compared with 2.3 billion in 2007, the Oak Brook, Illinois-based company said in a statement.
Excluding exceptional items, earnings per share were 3.76 dollars, widely exceeding consensus market forecasts of 3.63 dollars.
The robust annual results came despite a sharp 23 percent decline in fourth-quarter net profit to 985 million dollars, from 1.273 billion in the 2007 fourth quarter. Fourth-quarter earnings per share were 87 cents, above expectations of 83 cents.
"2008 was a strong year for McDonald's," chief executive Jim Skinner said in the statement.
"Through our strategic focus on menu choice, food quality and value, the average number of customers served per day increased to more than 58 million in 2008."
Still, I imagine some camera hog will find a way to get some face time with this.