Page last updated at 15:22 GMT, Monday, 26 January 2009

McDonald's to open 1,000 stores

McDonalds branch in Chicago
McDonald's US sales were up 5% on the year before

US fast-food chain McDonald's says it plans to open 1,000 new restaurants this year.

The world's largest hamburger chain also said fourth-quarter net income fell 23% to $985.3m (710m), from $1.27bn a year before.

Revenue fell to $5.57bn from $5.75bn, even though global same-store sales rose 7.2%, as the firm was hit by the strong dollar.

In the US, the firm raised the price of its Double Cheeseburger in November.

Announcing the results, chief executive Jim Skinner said: "For 2009 we plan to invest $2.1bn in capital to open about 1,000 new restaurants and reinvest in our existing locations."

Despite beef, cheese, and other ingredients rising in price, the company reported an 8% fall in total operating costs and expenses.

McDonald's has seen sales rise in the economic downturn, helped by its low prices and ubiquity of its outlets.

In the quarter, its same-store sales in the US rose 5% on the year before.

International same-store sales were also ahead, rising 7.6% in Europe and 10% in the Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa division.

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