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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 December, 2003, 00:37 GMT
McDonalds to sell pizza business
Big Mac and fries
McDonalds is going back to its roots
Fast-food chain McDonalds is to sell off its Donatos pizza restaurants as part of plans to slim down its non-core businesses.

McDonalds will sell the 182 Donatos outlets back to the brand's founder, Jim Grote; no financial details of the deal were given.

Mr Grote originally sold his 40-year old restaurant chain to McDonalds in 1999.

McDonalds is rationalising outlets of its other brands to stick to burgers.

Cutting the fat

McDonald lost $66.8m on its three partner brand restaurant chains last year - Donatos, Mexican Chipotle and Boston Market.

The three make a tiny contribution to McDonald's overall sales, just $1.1bn out of $41.5bn.

"We will begin 2004 with a clear direction for what we need to do with these brands," said McDonalds Chief Executive Jim Cantalupo.

McDonalds said it plans to keep the other two eateries but sell off their non-US outlets.

It is also scrapping a joint venture with Fazoli's, a pasta chain.

But although McDonalds is focusing on its internationally successful burger business, menus inside the golden arches are changing to include more salads and non-burger meals.

McDonalds said the cost of its rationalisation will lead to charges of up to 28 pence per share in the fourth quarter of 2003. Its shares closed 1% lower in New York.

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