OAK BROOK, ILL. – While many foodservice operations continue struggling during these tough economic times, McDonald's Corporation stated its global sales increased 7.1% in January vs. the same period last year. The company’s chief executive attributed offering high-quality affordable meal options and convenience as the winning combination behind this impressive figure.

System wide sales for McDonald's worldwide restaurants were up 2.6% for the month, or 9.1% in constant currencies.

"2009 is off to a good start for McDonald's as our ‘Plan to Win’ is working in every area of the world," said Jim Skinner, chief executive officer.

Comparable sales in the U.S. increased 5.4% in January. Value across the menu along with the popularity of McDonald's core menu and breakfast drove the results.

Among McDonald’s locations in Europe the U.K., France and Russia, January's results indicated 7.1% comparable sales increase. The company says throughout Europe, premium menu offerings, classic favorites and affordability continue to deliver results.

January comparable sales were up 10.2% in Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa due to strong sales growth in Australia, China and many other countries. Locally relevant chicken and beef choices, convenient operating hours and successful Chinese New Year promotions contributed to January's performance.

"We are pleased with comparable sales performance around the world. For the month of February, it's important to note that comparable sales will be negatively impacted by about 4 percentage points as prior-year results included one extra day due to leap year," Mr. Skinner said. "This compares with a calendar shift benefit of about 2 percentage points in January."

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