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OAK BROOK, IL-McDonald’s Corp. officials said in a second quarter conference call Tuesday that the company would have met expectations of increased net income to $869.9 million, or 71 cents per share, if there hadn’t been an April charge of $1.6 billion in its sale of its 1,600 Latin America stores. Instead, the fast-food giant had to take its first loss in five years of $711.7 million, or 60 cents per share.

The company had other good news: Same-store sales rose 7.4%, and revenue boosted by 12% to just more than $6 billion. “I’m optimistic and confident in our ability to capture opportunity in the marketplace,” said CEO James Skinner. Company officials say the restaurants have guest growth and are moving new products, and the company is adding more late-night stores, but food costs are fluctuating higher.

Matthew Paull, CFO, said in the call that the Latin America sale will continue the firm’s forward momentum. “This will reduce volatility and improve returns, with a less-capital intensive business model,” Paull said. The stores are being sold to franchisee Woods Staton, an entrepreneur who has been a member of the company’s franchise system for more than 20 years. The company will gain $700 million in cash proceeds from the sale, as well as 5% in royalties, with a percentage escalating after 10 years.

Paull said with the sale, the company is moving closer to its goal of franchising 77% of its restaurants, and expects to have 74% of the restaurants as franchise stores. The UK is on track to reach 50% by December and Canada is at 66%, he said.

Paull himself also had news, announcing his retirement. He said he had only planned on staying at the job for four or five years. “It’s not about me going to work at another company, it’s about what I want out of life. I always dream about going back to a college campus to teach.” He’ll stay with the company at least until the end of the year.

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