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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 July 2006, 15:55 GMT 16:55 UK
McDonald's profits from World Cup
McDonald's logo
McDonald's has been changing its business to meet consumer tastes
Hamburger chain McDonald's has seen quarterly profits rise 57% as the football World Cup in Germany helped lift European sales to 10-year highs.

It also benefited from selling its stake in the Chipotle Mexican Grill chain, and strong demand for breakfasts and premium coffee in the US.

Net income was $834.1m (452m) in the second quarter from $530m a year ago.

Sales rose 9% to $5.6bn amid signs that the firm was emerging from a number of tough years, analysts said.

Tastier times

Dan Popowics, an analyst at Fifth Third Asset Management, said that McDonald's was taking a small amount of market share from all of its competitors, and "both from quick-service peers and more expensive formats".

"They have items on their menu that can appeal for price-conscious consumers," he added.

In Europe, McDonald's sales rose by 6.3% to put in their strongest performance in a decade.

"We are pleased with Europe's improving profitability and remain intent on building upon these strong results," said McDonald's chief executive Jim Skinner.

McDonald's operates almost 32,000 restaurants worldwide, and has been under pressure in recent years amid claims from critics that its food was unhealthy.

In an attempt to defuse the problem and lure increasingly health-conscious consumers, the company revamped its menu and offered new options such as fresh fruit.

Obesity is a growing political issue in the US, home to the highest number of obese people in the world.

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