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Fast food giant McDonald’s reported strong fourth quarter results this morning, as revenue surged 10% to $6.8 billion and earnings increased to $1.38 billion, or $1.33 per share.Comparable store sales increased 14% during the quarter and 14% for the full-year, with Europe up 15% and Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa comps gaining 27% over 2011.
France, the U.K., Russia and Germany led European gains, as the company cont the segment’s operating income growth for both periods. Emphasis on unique promotional food events, fourth-tier menu development and restaurant reimaging continued to provide an appealing customer experience and contributed to the segment’s performanc
Analysts polled by Bloomberg had forecast earnings per share in the fourth quarter of $1.30 on top line results of $6.8 billion.
“During 2011, McDonald’s continued momentum drove higher profitability and market share gains as we fortified our leadership position around the world,” McDonald’s CEO Jim Skinner said. “The ongoing strength of McDonald’s results is rooted in our Plan to Win with a relentless focus on what matters most to our customers. We are enhancing the customer experience – from our menu and service to our value and convenience – while giving more people more reasons to visit McDonald’s more often.”
McDonald’s will spend more than $2.9 billion over the next 11 months opening new locations and renovating its existing footprint. Plans call for the remodeling of 2,400 stores, while opening another 1,300 new outlets.
Skinner said he expected momentum to continue through 2012, with January comps likely to be up in the 5.5% to 6.5% range.
Shares are slightly higher in pre-market trading.