Premier Capital plc, the Maltese-owned Developmental Licencee for McDonald’s in six European markets, has posted a pre-tax profit of €19 million for 2020, down from €28 million in 2019.

Victor Tedesco

As challenging trading conditions across the continent impacted operations, restaurants continued to serve customers mainly through McDrive and McDelivery, and lobby take-out as dine-in service was suspended across most of the group’s footprint. Despite the setbacks, the company reports that customer demand for McDonald’s products maintained high levels, as evidenced by long lines at McDrive lanes and soaring McDelivery sales.

Malta reported the highest impact in business disruption, with an overall decrease of 15.7 per cent compared to 2019. The other five markets registered single digit declines in sales: Romania and Greece of eight per cent, Lithuania 3.3 per cent, Estonia 2.2 per cent, and Latvia one per cent.

“As challenging as 2020 turned out to be, it was also a defining year for the group,” Premier Capital Chief Executive Officer Victor Tedesco said of the company’s performance. “It demonstrated unequivocally that the business is operationally resilient. Thanks to the McDrive and McDelivery service channels, our restaurants were able to continue to serve our customers and live up to the brand’s legacy as a pioneer of convenience.”

“It was the year Premier Capital gave 100 per cent to protect jobs and keep going wherever possible. It was also the year all our people came together with incredible determination to stay close to our communities when they needed us most, serving our customers at home or on their way to or back from roles and jobs that are so vital to society. Our restaurant crews’ courage, patience and work ethic has been outstanding,” he continued.

Looking ahead, the company’s outlook for 2021 is certainly affected by the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, yet the severity of the impact is expected to be lower than that of 2020.

“This year, we continue to monitor the situation in each market closely, but with greater confidence as we now possess the appropriate experience, knowledge and resources for business continuity and contingency planning as we live and work through this crisis,” Mr Tedesco said.

“We will keep a watchful eye on the opportunities that have emerged from this situation and ensure we keep our people and customers safe through elevated brand trust. We are emerging from this unprecedented challenge in a strong position. We have preserved our market leadership in five of six of our markets and we can rely on our empowered, passionate people to run great, innovative restaurants. We can’t wait to have all our doors open again so that our crews can welcome our customers back in person.”

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