McDonald’s warns of restaurant closures in 10 countries
BSE cow disease contributed to poor performance

Nov. 11, 2002, Burger-based fast-food chains are seeing a slump in near-term profits and longer-term prospects. McDonald’s plans to withdraw from three countries in the Middle East and Latin America and close 175 restaurants in 10 countries.
Up to 600 jobs will be cut – 250 in the U.S., where sales of continuing products have dropped 2.8 percent in the past year.
A price war with Burger King and Wendy’s has hurt all three firms. Burger King is for sale by its owner, Diageo, while Wendy’s admits its 2002 earnings projection was too optimistic.
McDonald’s has also attributed it poor financial performance to the impact of the cow disease BSE in Japan and Europe. The announcement closely follows the company’s decision to cut back on new store openings next year. McDonald’s also warned that its fourth-quarter earnings would be lower than previously forecast.