NEW YORK — McDonald's Corp.’s first-quarter profit climb nearly 4% as more customers worldwide came to the Golden Arches for a less-expensive meal, according to The Associated Press. For the quarter ended March 31, Oak Brook, Ill.-based McDonald's earned $979.5 million, or 87c per share, up from $946.1 million, or 81c per share, last year.

Sales fell 10% to $5.08 billion from $5.61 billion. Analysts predicted revenue of $5.19 billion. Global same-store sales, or sales at locations open at least a year, however, rose 4.3% in the first quarter. Same-store sales jumped in every area of the world, rising 4.7% in the U.S.

Sales of chicken, breakfast and beverages were particularly strong, McDonald's added.

The company claimed it is capturing a larger share of the market in nearly every part of the world as consumers cut back on their spending and look for a less-expensive alternative to sit-down restaurants. "They're scaling back and being more discernible about what they purchase," said Jim Skinner, chief executive during an April 22 conference call with investors.

New fried chicken menu items and espresso-based drinks have been boosting sales for several quarters.

McDonald’s will launch its hefty Angus Burger in all U.S. locations this year, Mr. Skinner confirmed. Having already been sold in several test markets, the company held back from introducing it to all U.S. consumers in favor of focusing on its core menu. The burger is slightly more expensive than McDonald's other burgers.

However, the company, said it plans to continue advertising its value menu and less-expensive core menu items at the same time.