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McDonald's profits rise; shares surge

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McDonald's reported higher third-quarter earnings Thursday on better US sales and said the strong results were evidence the company was making progress on its turnaround.

[NEW YORK] McDonald's reported higher third-quarter earnings Thursday on better US sales and said the strong results were evidence the company was making progress on its turnaround.

Net income for the quarter ending September 30 was US$1.3 billion, up 22.5 per cent from the year-ago period.

Revenues fell 5.3 per cent to US$6.6 billion, dented by the strong dollar in overseas markets.

The fast-food giant reported a 0.9 per cent rise in US comparable sales, the business' first quarterly gain two years.

McDonald's attributed the better results in the US part to some new products like its buttermilk crispy chicken sandwich.

It also said it benefited from stronger results in China compared with the year-ago period, when a scandal involving expired meat from a supplier weighed on results.

"Third quarter marked an important step in the company's global turnaround," said chief executive Steve Easterbrook. "As we begin fourth quarter, comparable sales are expected to be positive in all segments. While still in the early stages, we believe our turnaround plan is starting to generate the change needed to reposition McDonald's as a modern, progressive burger company."

Easterbrook was promoted to CEO in January to address a lengthy slump. In May, he announced that the company would sell more restaurants to franchisees and would restructure its international operations.

McDonald's earnings translated into US$1.40 per share, 12 cents above analyst expectations. Revenues also topped estimates for US$6.4 billion.

Shares of Dow member McDonald's surged 6.7 per cent to US$109.40 in pre-market trade.

AFP