Oakbrook, Ill. McDonald's Corp. said Wednesday that its first-quarter profit climbed nearly 4% as more customers worldwide sought out its restaurants for an affordable meal.
The company said profit for the quarter ended March 31 rose to $979.5 million, from $946.1 million last year. The results beat Wall Street estimates.
In the first quarter, global same-store sales rose 4.3%. Same-store sales jumped in every area of the world, rising 4.7% in the United States where the recession has dampened sales growth at many sit-down restaurants.
McDonald's said its U.S. business continues to gain market share, adding that sales of chicken, breakfast and beverages were particularly strong. Chief executive Jim Skinner said in a statement that the company's strong sales are likely to persist, adding that April same-store sales so far are looking "at least as strong or better than first-quarter sales in every area of the world."
But overall revenue has not been as strong, mainly due to the strong dollar. The nation's No. 1 hamburger chain warned earlier this year that its sales would be hurt by foreign currency rates. Most U.S. companies that sell goods internationally convert those sales from foreign currencies into dollars when they report their financial results. If the dollar is stronger than those currencies, the translation results in fewer dollars in revenue.
Sales fell 10% to $5.08 billion from $5.61 billion. Analysts predicted revenue of $5.19 billion.