McDonald's Corp. said Monday that sales at restaurants open at least a year climbed 4.8 percent in February on strong overseas growth and a small rise in U.S. sales.
The 4.8 percent increase comes on the heels of January's 2.6 percent rise and is a welcome return to gains after two straight months of declines in the key sales figure during November and December.
McDonald's domestic performance also improved, edging up 0.6 percent after a 0.7 percent decline in January.
Results were driven in the U.S. by strong demand for the chain's breakfast dollar menu, McCafe drinks and a Chicken McNugget promotion centered around the Winter Olympics.
Results in Europe rose 5.4 percent, while Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa's performance climbed 10.5 percent. McDonald's, based in Oak Brook, Ill., reported strong performances in France, the U.K., Japan, China and Australia.
Sales at restaurants open at least a year are a key indicator of performance because they measure growth at existing locations rather than newly opened ones.
Systemwide sales, which includes sales at restaurants run by the company and franchisees, increased 11.2 percent in February.
In January, McDonald's said that its fourth-quarter profit climbed, helped by its dollar menu. But yearly sales dropped for the first time in at least a quarter century.
Still, McDonald's did considerably better than nearly all its fast-food competitors, who have been slashing prices — at the expense of profits — to get customers in the door as the economy slowly heads toward recovery.
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