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McDonald's delivers global growth as it battles U.S. challenges

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McDonald's delivers global growth as it battles U.S. challenges
FILE PHOTO - A sign for the U.S. fast food restaurant chain McDonald's is seen outside one of their restaurants in Sint-Pieters-Leeuw, near Brussels, Belgium February 14, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman   -   Copyright  Yves Herman(Reuters)
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(Reuters) – McDonald’s Corp beat estimates for quarterly same-store sales on Wednesday, powered by a strong international performance that again made up for weakness in a highly competitive U.S. fast-food market.

Global sales at stores open at least 13 months rose 4.4 percent, topping the average analyst estimate of 3.90 percent, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

McDonald’s remodelling efforts have been successful in driving growth in international markets such as UK and Australia and the world’s largest restaurant chain is looking to replicate that success in the United States as competition intensifies.

U.S. comparable sales rose 2.3 percent in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, but was just shy of the 2.36 percent growth expected on average by analysts, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Total revenue fell 3 percent to $5.16 billion, as the company sold restaurants to franchisees, but was in line with estimates.

Net income rose to $1.42 billion, or $1.82 per share, in the quarter from $698.7 million, or 87 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned $1.97 per share, beating the $1.89 analysts on average had expected.

McDonald’s shares were up marginally before the bell.

(Reporting by Aishwarya Venugopal and Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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