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August 11, 2009

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Burger chain sees rise in sales

MCDONALD'S Corp said yesterday its same-store sales climbed 4.3 percent in July, as the biggest United States hamburger chain benefited from budget-conscious consumers and wide promotion of new coffee drinks.

The Oak Brook, Illinois-based company said US same-store sales climbed 2.6 percent because of new products, including McCafe espresso-based coffee.

European same-store sales surged 7.2 percent, helped by growth in France and the United Kingdom.

Same-store sales for Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa rose 2.1 percent, as strength in Australia helped offset weakness in China. Longer operating hours also boosted sales.

McDonald's same-store sales, or sales at restaurants open at least 13 months, are a key indicator of retailer performance because they measure growth at existing stores rather than new ones.

Total sales declined 0.3 percent because of currency translation.

McDonald's benefited from consumers trading down to cheaper meal options amid the recession, but its second-quarter profit declined 8 percent because of the stronger US dollar and a year-ago gain. Year-ago results also benefited from a better economy and stimulus checks, the company said.


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