McDonald's Latin America operator Arcos Dorados says 2009 sales rose by 2.9% to US$3.6B, the highest result since 1967; same-restaurant sales grew by 5.5% in local currency

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina , March 24, 2010 (press release) – The result of US$ 3.6 thousand million is the highest since 1967, when the first McDonald's restaurant opened in the region. The growth generated 5,000 new positions

Arcos Dorados, the largest restaurant operator in Latin America and the most important McDonald's franchise in the world, announced today that during 2009 it reached a record of US$ 3.6 thousand millions of total sales, an 8.7% increase in local currency and a 2.9% increase in dollars. The result has been the highest obtained by McDonald's brand in Latin America since the opening of the first restaurant in 1967.

"The results obtained in 2009 exceeded our expectations, and even more so if considering the recent world economic crisis and the high comparative base achieved in 2008," declared Woods Staton, President and CEO of Arcos Dorados.

"Our investments increased 29% in relation to our original plans. Between August 2007 and August 2010, we will have invested 450 million dollars in Latin America," added Woods Staton. Regarding comparative sales, considering the same number of restaurants from last year, the growth was 5.5% in local currency.

According to Staton, the main reasons for the 2009 results were an attractive product menu, convenient prices and efficiency regarding internal controls. "We exceeded our objectives by intensifying McDonald's brand exposure in the region, thanks to innovative marketing campaigns, a great number of openings and the redesign of the image of the points of sale. We also offered a wider variety of items on the menu with a focus on quality and nutritional value, always taking into account affordable prices," claimed Staton.

This is the second consecutive record obtained by Arcos Dorados, in its second year in operation. The company received from McDonald's Corporation the license for the management of McDonald's restaurants for Latin America in July 2007. The results position the company among the top 100 biggest private companies in Latin America.

Expansion: Over one new restaurant per week

In Latin America, 68 new restaurants, 41 McCafes and 145 dessert centers were opened during the year. The company closed the year with 1,800 restaurants, 263 McCafes and 1,217 dessert centers.

Investments were also focused to offer customers a more agreeable and comfortable experience, with the image redesign of 48 restaurants that incorporated the new more contemporary brand design. "We worked hard not only to grow by opening new restaurants but also to improve those we already had," stressed Staton.

Jobs: More than 410 job openings a month

Expansion brought together the creation of 5,000 new jobs in the region, which made Arcos Dorados end the year with more than 100,000 employees, placing the company among the top five biggest employers and one of the biggest workforce trainers in the region.

"We are the first job option for young people and one of the companies that invests the most in education, training and skills development. Apart from contributing to the economic and social development of the communities where we operate by generating jobs and income, we are proud to have been acknowledged once again as one of the best employers in Latin America, according to Great Place to Work Consultant," said Woods Staton.

Social performance: approximately US$ 1.5 millions in donations per month

Arcos Dorados supports the work of the Ronald McDonald Association. These associations, which work throughout the entire region for the benefit of children and teenagers' health, have managed a budget of over US$ 18 million, collected and entirely allocated to local programs.

During 2009, five new Ronald McDonald House Programs and Ronald McDonald Family Rooms were created with a total of 22 programs in 11 countries:

- 13 Ronald McDonald Houses, which offer free accommodation, food and transportation to children, teenagers and their families while they undergo medical treatment;

- 4 Ronald McDonald Family Rooms, built in hospitals to provide shelter to families during the course of treatment;

- 2 Ronald McDonald Outpatient Pediatric Units, which operate in the poorest areas, providing basic pediatric attention and first diagnosis; and

- 3 Ronald McDonald Associations that support local pediatric programs, together with local foundations that offer support for children.

McDia Feliz (Happy McDay), the biggest collection campaign for Latin American children, obtained, in 2009, a record collection of US$ 10,175,383, thanks to the full donation of Big Mac sales during the day of the event in all the restaurants in the region.

The support of Arcos Dorados to local social programs is carried out throughout the year. For each sale of a Cajita Feliz (Happy Meal), the company earmarks one cent per dollar for the Association in Latin America, which reaches an annual amount of approximately US$ 1 million.

At the beginning of 2010, Arcos Dorados carried out a campaign in Latin America for which it set aside more than US$ 1.6 million for victims of the Haiti earthquake. The network also organized a campaign in Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay together with the foundation "Un Techo para Chile" ("A Roof for Chile") for the benefit of the victims of the earthquake suffered in that country. The money raised, US$ 202,700, is part of what the Foundation set aside for the building of 20,000 emergency houses.

Environmental performance: the second ecological restaurant

In the environmental area, Arcos Dorados opened its Latin American ecological restaurant in Lindora, Costa Rica, following the trend started in 2008 with the opening of the first one in Brazil. The new concept incorporates the philosophy of ecologically responsible constructions, according to the current certification of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), which aims at the incorporation of sustainable technologies in the construction and the operation of efficient buildings. The opening of a third ecological restaurant is scheduled for 2010 in Argentina.

Throughout the year, the company invested heavily in initiatives according to its policies to reduce the consumption of natural resources, recycle and reuse resources. The most relevant example is the use of Biodiesel in the fleet of trucks by recycling the vegetable oil used in the kitchens of McDonald's, in Brazil and Argentina.

"Our strategy of sustainable growth obtained record results in 2009. We commit ourselves to the economic, social and environmental development of the communities where we operate, and we respect the different cultures from the top of Mexico to the bottom of Patagonia," said Woods Staton.

About Arcos Dorados

Arcos Dorados is the largest restaurant operator in Latin America and the biggest McDonald's franchise in the world. It is a Latin American company which operates in more than 3,200 McDonald's points of sale in Latin America, with 1,800 restaurants, 1,217 kiosks and 263 McCafes distributed in 28 countries and territories (operating directly in Argentina, Aruba, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Curacao, Ecuador, Guadalupe, French Guyana, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, Saint Thomas, Saint Croix, Uruguay and Venezuela, and indirectly by lending advice to brand licensees in the Bahamas, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Paraguay, the Dominican Republic, Saint Martin, Saint Croix and Suriname). With over 100,000 employees, it serves more than 3.5 million customers a day. Apart from being one of five biggest employers in the region, Arcos Dorados is acknowledged as one of the best companies to work for in Latin America and one of the main companies that provides young people with an opportunity to gain access to the workforce. Arcos Dorados also operates in the logistics sector through Axis, a company with seven distribution centers in Argentina, Chile, Venezuela and Mexico, with 600 employees and more than 100 customers.

* All content is copyrighted by Industry Intelligence, or the original respective author or source. You may not recirculate, redistrubte or publish the analysis and presentation included in the service without Industry Intelligence's prior written consent. Please review our terms of use.