090212 McDonald's to open 175 new outlets in China

February 4, 2009

Beijing, China (Xinhua News Agency) - - US hamburger giant McDonald's announced plans Wednesday to open 175 new restaurants in China this year despite the global economic crisis, state media said.

The outlets will create 10,000 jobs and will add up to the firm's biggest expansion anywhere in the world, the Xinhua news agency reported.

The public relations firm used by McDonald's in China, Ketchum Inc, confirmed the Xinhua report to Dow Jones Newswires, which said the move would increase the number of outlets in China by 17 percent, from 1,050 currently.

"The move will bring more opportunities for cooperation to food-related industries in China," McDonald's China chief executive officer Jeffrey Schwartz told Xinhua.

The US fast food giant has 50 suppliers in China, with more than 95 percent of its food products coming from local sources, Xinhua reported.

Chinese state media had previously reported that McDonald's planned to open 150 outlets in China in 2009.

Last month, McDonald's said its 2008 net profit has soared 80 percent from a year earlier to 4.3 billion dollars.

The positive annual results came despite a sharp 23 percent decline in fourth-quarter net profit to 985 million dollars as compared with the same period a year earlier.