McDonald's misses quarterly profits target amid global Gaza boycotts

ISTANBUL – McDonald's Corporation fell short of quarterly profit estimates for the first time in two years amid demands for a global boycott against the fast food chain because of the war in the Gaza Strip, the company said Tuesday.

Despite global comparable sales growing nearly 2 percent in the first quarter, marking 13 consecutive quarters of positive growth, the burger company faces headwinds in international markets, particularly in regions affected by the conflict in Gaza.

"Global comparable sales increased 1.9 percent, reflecting positive comparable sales in the U.S. and International Operated Markets segment. Comparable sales in the International Developmental Licensed Markets segment were slightly negative as the segment continued to be impacted by the war in the Middle East," the company said in a statement.

"The continued impact of the war in the Middle East more than offset positive comparable sales in Japan, Latin America and Europe," it added.

The US fast-food chain faces demands for a boycott since Alonyal Limited, which operates McDonald’s in Israel, gave away thousands of free meals to Israeli forces following attacks by Tel Aviv against Gaza, which have so far killed more than 34,000 people, mostly women and children.

McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski said on a conference call earlier this year that the conflict is “weighing on its brand” and hurting sales in Muslim-majority countries. (Anadolu)