Oak Brook, Illinois--McDonald's Corp. reported lower comparable sales for a 12th straight month, continuing its worst-ever slump despite its recent management overhaul. Worldwide sales at its restaurants open at least 13 months dropped a worse-than-expected 4.7 percent in February. The fast-food chain said the sluggish economies in the United States and Europe, its top two worldwide markets, and severe winter weather conditions contributed to the latest decline.

McDonald's posted its first-ever quarterly loss--$344 million--for the fourth quarter of 2002, acknowledging complications from its fast expansion pace and complaints about speed and food quality in its U.S. restaurants. The company announced it was closing 719 of its more than 30,000 restaurants, and the new management team has said it is considering what further changes to make. --Associated Press