McDonald's sales surge on BTS meal craze, new crispy chicken sandwich

BANGALURU (Reuters) - Global sales and profit for McDonald's Corp surged past Wall Street targets on Wednesday as restaurants reopened and consumers lapped up its new crispy chicken sandwich and a wildly popular celebrity meal inspired by South Korean pop band BTS.

Same-store sales for the world's biggest fast-food chain jumped 40.5% in the second quarter and exceeded the pre-pandemic levels of 2019 for the second straight quarter. Analysts were expecting a 39.81% rise.

In the past year, fast-food chains have successfully weathered most of the impact from lockdowns, with drive-thrus, competitive pricing and a sharp focus on core menu items powering demand.

Besides fresh additions to its menu, sales jump for McDonald's in the United States was driven by larger order size and menu price increases, which helped it counter industry-wide labor shortages and higher ingredient costs.

"The BTS Meal drove visits to our restaurants and significant lifts in Chicken McNuggets sales - one of our core menu items," McDonald's said.

The Grammy-nominated boy band's meal was launched in nearly 50 countries and includes chicken McNuggets, fries and two dips.

The limited edition meal launch has sparked frenzied excitement among the large fan base of the band and had forced McDonald's to shut some outlets in Indonesia.

Comparable sales in the United States rose 25.9% from a year earlier when the restaurant chain's sales took a hit from government curbs, including limited dine-in capacity and dining room closures. Compared to 2019, U.S. sales grew nearly 15%.

Analysts were expecting U.S. sales to grow 23.84%, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Total revenue surged by a better-than-expected 57% to US$5.89 billion in the three months ended June 30, compared to a year ago when McDonald's posted a 30% drop due to coronavirus restrictions.

Net income more than quadrupled to US$2.22 billion and excluding certain items, it earned US$2.37 per share beating expectations of US$2.11 per share.

(Reporting by Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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