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Last Updated: Monday, 28 January 2008, 13:56 GMT
McDonald's hit by weak US sales
McDonald's outlet in Chicago
McDonald's has warned about weaker US consumer spending
Restaurant giant McDonald's has seen its latest quarterly profits increase just 3%, as sluggish US sales trailed behind those in its overseas markets.

In the three months to the end of December, the company's net profit rose to $1.27bn (640m) from $1.24bn for the same period in 2006.

US same-store sales - which exclude new openings - rose 3.3%, compared with a "double digit" rise in Europe.

McDonald's said its US sales were being hit by "softer consumer spending".

Yet while US sales were flat in December, the firm said it remained confident in its home market, and its current focus of cutting prices and boosting sales of breakfast goods.

McDonald's group-wide quarterly revenues rose 6% to $5.8bn, from $5.4bn a year previously.

Same-store global sales were up 6.7%.

The latest rise in profit was also lifted by a one-off tax benefit.

Chief executive Jim Skinner said he was "optimistic about McDonald's outlook for 2008".

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