McDonald's relishes record UK year


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The Independent Online

Fast food giant McDonald's hailed a record year in the UK today after new menus and longer opening hours boosted sales.

The US-headquartered group, which employs 87,500 staff in the UK, said it broke its daily sales record on four occasions in December as cash-strapped customers sought cheaper meals and the group rolled out heavy promotions.

The record UK performance came as the wider group reported an 11% rise in net income to 1.4 billion US dollars (£898 million) last year and a 10% rise in revenues to 6.8 billion US dollars (£4.4 billion).

Meanwhile, the burger chain said it will create at least 2,500 new UK jobs this year, with more than a half of the new posts to go to young people and around 30% to first-time workers.

Jill McDonald, chief executive of McDonald's UK, said: "It is tough out there for many of our customers. When people have less money they are choosier about how they spend it, which is why great service and affordable prices are so important to deliver."

McDonald's, which does not offer a breakdown of UK figures, said Europe generated "strong" like-for-like sales for the quarter and year, with the UK, France, Germany and Russia leading the income growth.

In the fourth quarter, Europe like-for-like sales were ahead 7.3%, stronger than the US, where sales were up 7.1% and the 6.9% increase in Asia, Middle East and Africa.