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McDonald's pulls another big dividend from NZ unit

McDonald's, with shares near record high, pulls another big dividend from NZ unit

April 19 (BusinessDesk) - McDonald's Corp, which has seen its shares rise to a record high this month, pulled another large dividend out of New Zealand in 2012 as profit growth stalled at the local unit.

McDonald’s Restaurants New Zealand, the local arm of world's largest fast food chain, paid a dividend of $32 million to its parent in 2012 following a 2011 payment of $154 million that it funded by taking on a loan. Before that it hadn’t paid a dividend since a 2006 payment of $227,000.

Profit was $31.88 million for McDonald’s New Zealand in 2012, little changed from $31.8 million a year earlier, its accounts show. Sales rose 2.8 percent to $204.7 million.

McDonald's New Zealand gets its revenue from 161 restaurants, of which 80 percent are franchised.

Its locally listed rival Restaurant Brands New Zealand, which has the KFC, Pizza Hut, Starbucks and Carl’s Jr brands, reported a 4.5 percent decline in profit in the 12 months through Feb. 28 as sales rose 1.3 percent.

Shares of Oak Brook, Illinois-based McDonald’s fell 0.6 percent to US$101.91 on the New York Stock Exchange yesterday, valuing the company at about US$103 billion. The shares, which are rated ‘outperform’ in a Reuters poll of 31 analysts, reached a record high US$103.70 on April 12.

McDonald’s Corp is scheduled to release its first-quarter results on Friday in the US. Earnings per share are expected to rise 3.3 cent to US$1.27, according to Zacks Investment Research.


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