McDonald's to Close 175 Restaurants

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Oak Brook, --Fast-food giant McDonald's Corp. said it would shutter about 175 --its second major round of closings in two years--and slash up to 600 worldwide corporate positions, as it struggles to turn around its U.S. performance and trim worldwide costs. The restructuring also includes a planned exit from three undisclosed countries where McDonald's already has operations.

With a history of driving growth through rapid expansion, McDonald's, which operates nearly 30,000 restaurants worldwide, has been retrenching on store openings. In 2003, the company plans to open about 600 hamburger outlets worldwide, down from a high of 2,000 in 1996 and a planned 1,300 this year. Last year, it closed 163 underperforming stores. -Reuters

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