McDonald’s Chinese meat scandal is still marinating more than three months later. The world’s biggest hamburger chain reported Monday a 0.5 percent drop in a key October global sales figure from last year, dragged down by a 4.2 percent drop in the Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa segment.
The sales figure includes all global locations open at least 13 months. In July, a TV report exposed that workers at one of McDonald’s suppliers repackaged meat that was alleged to be expired. Neither the supplier nor the Chinese government has confirmed the claim.
Sales in the U.S. fell 1 percent in October from last year, the company said. In the third quarter, McDonald’s profit fell by 30 percent, reflecting a decline across all major markets. Comparable sales in Europe fell 0.7 percent in October due to weak sales in Russia. Last year, the October global sales figures rose 0.5 percent.
McDonald’s said strong competition is hindering its U.S. restaurants. CEO Don Thompson said last month that the chain plans to compete better by simplifying its menu and offering options suited to specific regions, starting in January.