CHICAGO - McDonald's Corp. profit climbed almost six per cent in the third quarter, as U.S. customers gobbled up its newest, more expensive Angus burgers, the company said Thursday.
The world's largest burger chain, which has been among the notable winners of the recession because of its cheap menu and value meals, cautioned that the fast-food business was slowing around the globe but that McDonald's would continue to see growth.
In a statement, CEO Jim Skinner cited a "declining informal eating out market around the world" in October.
But he said he expects McDonald's sales in restaurants open at least a year - an important measure of a restaurant's performance - to remain positive in October.
"We begin the fourth quarter from a position of strength, and I am confident that our focus on the customer and commitment to financial discipline will continue to deliver long-term profitable growth for our system and our shareholders," he said in a statement.
During the third quarter, McDonald's said sales in U.S. restaurants open at least a year rose 2.5 per cent. The U.S. performance was helped by Americans' healthy appetite for the third-pound premium burgers that debuted nationwide this July as well as its cheap menu options and its espresso coffee drinks.
Around the globe, the measure rose 3.8 per cent.
For the three months that ended Sept. 30, McDonald's earned $1.26 billion, or $1.15 per share. That compares with a year-ago profit of $1.19 billion, or $1.05 per share.
But revenue slid 3.5 per cent to $6.05 billion, dragged down by fluctuating global currencies.
Excluding the impact of those currency fluctuations, McDonald's said its third quarter revenue grew two per cent.
Profit was better than Wall Street forecasts, even though the fast food company's revenue fell just short of expectations. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected the Oak Brook, Ill.-based restaurant chain to earn $1.11 per share on revenue of nearly $6.1 billion.
McDonald's shares climbed $1.78, or three per cent, to US$60.11 in trading Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange.