company also said it was looking for franchisee partners in
those markets, where it already has more than 2,800 restaurants,
most of them company-owned.
China, Hong Kong and South Korea, along with a few other
high-growth markets such as Russia, accounted for nearly a
quarter of McDonald's total sales in 2015.
McDonald's has a long-term plan to franchise 95 percent of its
restaurants worldwide. More than 80 percent of its 36,000-plus
restaurants are now operated by franchisees.
The company converted about 470 company-owned restaurants to
franchises last year.
McDonald's said it was seeking partners who would "enable
localized decisions on growth initiatives" in China, Hong Kong
and South Korea. In China particularly, the company is facing
increasing competition from cheaper local rivals.
McDonald's shares were little changed at $125.85 in premarket
trading. The stock has risen about 29 percent in the last 12
months, outperforming the 18 percent rise in the S&P 500
restaurants Sub index.
(Reporting by Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru; Editing by Don
[© 2016 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2016 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.