Franchisees of burger behemoth McDonald's revealed yesterday that up to 40 restaurants will be closed by the end of the year because they "aren't very profitable". John Maier Rowell, head of a group of McDonald's Brazilian franchisees and owner of two outlets, explained to Dow Jones that a number of outlets are struggling in Brazil because of a policy by the company to open its own restaurants close by to established outlets run by franchisees.