McDonald's profits beat forecasts as sales rise

Image caption Sales of McDonald's McCafe drinks have been strong

Fast food giant McDonald's has reported better-than-expected profits for the first quarter of 2011, with sales up in the US, Europe and Asia.

First quarter profits were $1.2bn (£730m), up 10.9% from a year ago, with revenues rising 9% to $6.1bn.

McDonald's said that global comparable sales were 4.2% higher.

In the US, which accounts for about a third of its revenue, sales were helped by demand for its McCafe drinks and its fruit and maple oatmeal, the firm said.

Chicken McNuggets and the Chipotle BBQ Bacon Angus burger also proved popular, McDonald's said.

In Europe, McDonald's said it had enjoyed the strongest sales rises in the UK, France and Russia.

In Asia, Australia and China were the strongest performing countries.

On Wednesday, Yum Brands, the owner of fast food chains Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell, had also reported better-than-expected first quarter profits.

Profits were up 10% to $264m, with strong growth in China, where total sales increased by 28% during the period.

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