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Last Updated: Monday, 10 March 2008, 17:33 GMT
Jump in McDonald's European sales
McDonald's outlet in Chicago
McDonald's has expanded the choice of sandwiches and coffees it serves
Restaurant giant McDonald's has posted better-than-expected sales for February, helped by growth in Europe.

Sales at outlets open at least a year were up 11.7%. Europe saw a more marked 15.4% rise, US sales rose 8.3%.

A wider choice of sandwiches in Europe and more variety of coffees in the US helped boost both regions. The extra leap year day also pushed up sales.

Analysts had been cautious after poor results in December, fearing that the firm would be hit by the slowdown.

But the latest results have helped calm those concerns.

"McDonald's is extremely well positioned relative to the competition. It's a strong brand name, very closely tied to value," said Peter Jankovskis, co-chief investment officer at Oak Brook Investments.

McDonald's has been offering speciality coffees in more than 1,000 US outlets and aims to make these available nationally by the middle of this year. It has also added two new types of chicken sandwiches to its menu.

Same store sales in Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa climbed 10.9%.

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