reported a big increase in total January sales Friday, saying worldwide comparable-store sales in the month were up 10.1%.
The company, currently in the second year of a restructuring plan, cited strengths in its U.S. and European operations. In comparison, worldwide comparable-store sales declined 2.4% in January 2003.
Total January sales increased 19.1%, the company said, which was an 11.1% increase in constant currencies. Total sales in Europe jumped 25.6%, or 8.1% in constant currencies, while U.S. sales were up 14.1%.
Comparable-store sales in the U.S. were up 13.4%, compared with a 0.5% decline a year ago, and comps in Europe were up 6.5%, from a 3.8% decline in the year-ago period.
Regarding 2004, the company said in a press release that it "will continue to revitalize our business and improve our customers' experience through better service and by enhancing our food taste, menu variety and value offerings, and creating more relevant marketing. Our goal for the year is to further strengthen the foundation of our business in order to sustain profitable growth through execution and innovation in 2005 and beyond."
Jan. 26, the company had reported a fourth-quarter profit, compared with a loss the year earlier.
Shares of the company had been moving up 1.1% in the premarket, lately at trading at $27, a penny off their 52-week high reached on Dec. 4.