Americans lose appetite for McDonald's; Europeans chow down

Business Materials 23 April 2008 03:48 (UTC +04:00)

McDonald's Corp said Tuesday that while US sales were in a slump, Europeans more than helped the world's largest restaurant chain to beat out analysts' profit expectations with a 24- per-cent jump in earnings.

Earnings rose to 946 million dollars for the first quarter, compared to 762 million dollars in the same period last year. ( dpa )

US sales at stores open at least 13 months fell 0.8 per cent, its second decline since March 2003.

But same-store sales at European restaurants rose 11 per cent, as the appetite grew for breakfast foods in Britain, small chicken sandwiches in France and cheeseburgers in Germany.

Europe in fact generated 42 per cent of McDonald's first quarter sales and 39 per cent of operating profit.

In Asia, the Middle East and Africa, sales rose 9.4 per cent as outlets extended hours and sold more burgers and chicken sandwiches.

McDonald's said it plans to open 1,000 restaurants in 2008.