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McDonald's to spend up to $3 billion on new restaurants, remodeling

(Reuters) - McDonald's Corp on Thursday said it plans to spend $2.9 billion to $3 billion next year to open 1,500 to 1,600 new restaurants and remodel about 1,000 others - roughly in line with this year's reduced spending forecast.

A McDonald's restaurant sign
A McDonald's restaurant sign is seen at a McDonald's restaurant in Del Mar, California April 16, 2013. McDonald's Corp will announce its earnings on April 19. REUTERS/Mike Blake

(Reuters) - McDonald's Corp on Thursday said it plans to spend $2.9 billion to $3 billion next year to open 1,500 to 1,600 new restaurants and remodel about 1,000 others - roughly in line with this year's reduced spending forecast.

The world's biggest hamburger chain, which recently has struggled to meaningfully expand sales at established restaurants after years of outpacing its rivals, last month trimmed its 2013 capital spending outlook by $100 million to $3 billion and delayed some new restaurant openings until next year due to softness in China and some other emerging markets.

The company known for Big Mac hamburgers and skinny, crispy french fries also offered 2014 forecasts for commodity costs and other expenses.

It expects overall commodity costs for 2014 to increase 1 percent to 2 percent in the United States and 1.5 percent to 2.5 percent in Europe.

It also expects general and administrative costs to increase about $200 million, due to such factors as higher employee expenses and costs associated with its owner/operator convention and Winter Olympic sponsorship.

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McDonald's also repeated its prior forecast for 2014 overall same-restaurant sales growth of 3 percent to 5 percent, operating income growth of 6 percent to 7 percent, and return on incremental invested capital in the high teen percentages.

Shares in McDonald's were down 0.8 percent at $97.35 in extended trading.

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