Belfast Telegraph

McDonald's boss hails 'sustained positive results' for burger chain

Fast food giant McDonald's has bolstered overseas sales thanks to a strong performance from its UK business.

The restaurant chain said the UK - coupled with Australia and Canada - helped international lead sales rise 5.2% in the first quarter.

It came as a strong appetite for its all-day breakfast menu lif ted US sales for the third straight quarter in a row, climbing 5.4% for the first quarter to March 31 this year.

The company said revenues came in ahead of expectations at 5.9 billion US dollars (£4.1 billion) over the period.

Chief executive Steve Easterbrook said the sales performance underscored the fact that its turnaround plan was "taking hold".

Mr Easterbrook was the first Briton to be appointed president and chief executive of the business when he took over from Don Thompson last year.

His appointment came as the world's biggest burger chain faces slumping sales in the US, faced with intense competition and changing consumer tastes.

He added: " The ongoing investments we're making in running great restaurants and delivering what matters most to our customers are beginning to yield sustained positive results.

"For the quarter, we generated higher sales, revenues and operating income in constant currencies across all business segments."

The company added that is high growth unit, which includes China, saw sales pick up 3.6%, while foundational markets including Japan rose 11%.

European authorities launched an investigation into McDonald's in December amid allegations it had struck a ''sweetheart'' tax deal with Luxembourg.

The European Commission said the probe would look at alleged deals struck by the global giant to avoid paying taxes in Luxembourg and the US.

A spokesman for McDonald's said at the time that the group complies with all tax laws in Europe and pays a ''significant amount'' of corporate income tax.