McDonald's has today reported a bigger-than-expected drop in global same-store sales and missed profit expectations.

This comes as its restaurants were shut due to the Covid-19 pandemic, limiting operations to only drive-thru and delivery. 

McDonald's said global same-store sales fell 23.9% for the second quarter ended June 30, dragged down by big international markets including the UK, France and Latin America. 

Analysts had forecast a 23.24% fall, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. 

In the US, where it operates more than a third of its restaurants, same-restaurant sales fell 8.7%, but were better than the anticipated 9.97% fall, as most locations were able to stay open with drive-thru and delivery options. 

As lockdowns eased, sales improved and losses were not as bad, providing some optimism for a measured rebound. 

Restaurants have been struggling to cope with the changing dynamics and consumer behaviours around the health crisis.

They have been forced to simplify menus and shift largely to online and mobile orders for pickup, delivery and drive-thru. 

"Our strong drive-thru presence and the investments we've made in delivery and digital over the past few years have served us well through these uncertain times," its chief executive Chris Kempczinski said. 

To help drive its recovery, McDonald's, like many other US restaurant chains and retailers, said face coverings would be mandatory at its stores in the US and employees would offer one to anyone entering without a mask. 

The company said about 96% of its restaurants were operating with drive-thru, delivery or reduced seating capacity. 

Revenue fell 30.5% to $3.76 billion, but beat the estimate of $3.68 billion. 

Net income fell 68% to $483.8 million. Excluding one-time items, McDonald's earned 66 cents per share, eight cents below expectations.