CHICAGO – McDonald's Corp. (MCD) on Monday posted a stronger-than-expected 4.9 percent gain in global July sales at its namesake hamburger restaurants open at least 13 months, helped by solid demand in France and Germany.
Wall Street analysts had expected an increase ranging from 2 percent to 3 percent, according to research reports.
McDonald's shares edged up 3 percent, to $32.24, on the New York Stock Exchange (search).
The strong sales growth comes as McDonald's introduces a new line of premium chicken sandwiches. Analysts said the sandwiches appeared to be selling well in late July, even before an advertising campaign was launched in early August.
In the United States, McDonald's largest market, same-store sales also rose 4.9 percent, marking the company's 28th consecutive month of sales growth. Analysts had been expecting a rise of 3 to 4.3 percent.
In the company's No. 2 market, Europe, same-store sales were up 5.3 percent, well above analysts' expectations ranging from 0.7 percent to 1.5 percent.
Some analysts had expected only modest gains in Europe because of the London bombings that prompted some people to avoid the city's transit system. McDonald's made no comment about sales in Britain.
The company said sales were particularly strong in France and Germany thanks to demand for premium sandwiches, including the Big Tasty hamburger, and lower-priced offerings such as Les Petit Plaisir (search) chicken sandwiches in France.
In the company's Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa region, comparable sales rose 4.1 percent, led by a strong performance in Austalia.