January 4, 2012 / 9:59 AM / in 6 years

McDonald's raises HK prices as rising operating costs bite

HONG KONG, Jan 4 (Reuters) - McDonald’s Corp has raised some menu prices in Hong Kong by an average of 2.3 percent to compensate for surging operating costs, but the world’s biggest hamburger chain will leave prices in China, one of its fastest growing markets, unchanged.

“McDonald’s Hong Kong is facing surging inflation pressure due to rising rents, public utilities and ingredients costs,” Helen Cheung, director of Corporate Communications and Relations at McDonald’s Restaurants (Hong Kong) Ltd, said on Wednesday.

A spokeswoman for McDonald’s China told Reuters the comnpany had no plans to raise prices on the mainland for now. She said it last raised prices in China in July but did not elaborate.

High food prices have topped policy makers’ agendas because of worries over the impact on inflation and potential unrest. Last year, Beijing slapped a fine on consumer products giant Unilever after it warned it may have to raise prices.

Hong Kong’s consumer prices in November rose 5.7 percent from a year earlier, while overall food prices surged 8.2 percent. McDonald’s Hong Kong said prices of pork rose 22.6 percent, while beef prices climbed 17.6 in November.

McDonald‘s, which competes in China with Yum Brands Inc’s KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, has 200 outlets in Hong Kong, according to its website. McDonald’s China has said it aims to double its number of restaurants to 2,000 by 2013.

Last month, McDonald’s Corp reported a bigger-than-expected rise in November sales at established restaurants across the board, led by big gains in Japan, China and a strong showing in its top revenue market of Europe. China and Japan were singled out by the company as outstanding.

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