McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) desperately needs some McLovin’ in Japan. McDonald’s Holdings Co. Japan Ltd. released its full-year profit outlook on Thursday, and according to Bloomberg, said that it is cutting its profit forecast by more than half.
Japan is McDonald’s second largest market, behind the United States, but the fast food chain now only expects a net income of 5 billion yen ($48 million) in the country, reflecting a 57 percent cut from its previous full-year forecast. Analysts expected McDonald’s Japan to report a net income of 9.53 billion yen from the 3,170 stores it operated in the country as of the end of October.
According to Bloomberg, McDonald’s Japan said, “The number of customers during the first quarter was well below the company’s expectations,” attributing the poorer-than-expected full-year forecast to everything from investment costs to slow customer traffic to costs on store closures.
It isn’t the first time McDonald’s has witnessed slow traffic in Japan. Earlier this summer, the company recognized that its Japan stores weren’t doing as well as it would like, so McDonald’s launched an exclusive menu item for the country, catering directly to consumers’ tastes. The fast food giant reintroduced the Mega Potato to its menu in Japan for a limited-time offering and tried to lure consumers in the door with almost a pound of McDonald’s French fries.