April 20, 2012 / 12:12 PM / 5 years ago

U.S. sales boost McDonald's 1st-quarter profit

A U.S. flags flutters in the wind in front of a sign for a McDonald's restaurant in Los Angeles April 4, 2011. . REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

(Reuters) - McDonald’s Corp (MCD.N) reported higher quarterly profit on Friday, paced by strong sales at established restaurants in the United States.

Quarterly sales at restaurants open at least 13 months were up 7.3 percent, more than the 6.7 percent increase expected by analysts polled by Consensus Metrix. That figure rose 8.9 percent in the United States, while in Europe, same-restaurant sales rose 5 percent.

Net income at the world’s biggest fast-food chain rose to $1.27 billion, or $1.23 per share, during the first quarter, up from $1.21 billion, or $1.15 per share, a year earlier.

Analysts, on average, had been looking for a profit of $1.23 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue rose 7 percent to $6.55 billion. Analysts on average had forecast $6.54 billion.

The results, which were boosted by new menu items, restaurant makeovers and longer operating hours helped McDonald’s continue to outpace rivals like Wendy’s Co (WEN.O) and Burger King Corp BKCBK.UL.

Shares of McDonald’s rose 1.8 percent to $97.04 in premarket trading on Friday.

Reporting By Brad Dorfman in Chicago and Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick

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