McDonald’s, which is waging a comeback effort under chief executive Steve Easterbrook, yesterday posted its best quarterly growth in almost four years after a move to serve breakfast all day helped fuel US sales.
Global same-store sales surged 5% in the fourth quarter, the Oak Brook, Illinois-based company said in a statement.
Analysts had estimated 3.2% growth.
Profit also topped predictions, raising optimism that Mr Easterbrook can pull McDonald’s out of its worst slump in more than a decade.
Revenues amounted to $6.34bn for the period, beating the $6.23bn estimate.
The world’s biggest restaurant chain started serving breakfast all day in the US in October, bowing to a longstanding demand from customers.
Mr Easterbrook, who took the CEO job last March, also has focused on speeding up service and improving order accuracy.
“It looks like they’re definitely under way with the turnaround,” said Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Jennifer Bartashus.
“A good chunk of it is the all-day breakfast.”
Still, it’s unclear if selling Egg McMuffins beyond the morning rush will be a long-term benefit, Ms Bartashus said.
“The real question is whether that will be a sustained positive influence beyond people just trying it out for the first time.”
The company’s shares rose as much as 4.5% to $123.72 in early trading after the results were released.
In 2015, McDonald’s gained 26%, outpacing the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, which lost 0.7%.
Like Starbucks, which reported quarterly results last week, McDonald’s cited France as being a weak spot.
Business there was hurt by last year’s terrorist attacks in Paris.
McDonald’s saw stronger results in the UK, Canada and Australia, as well as positive same-store sales in Russia and China.
“We took bold, urgent action in 2015 to reset the business and position McDonald’s to deliver sustained profitable growth,” Mr Easterbrook said in yesterday’s statement.
“We enter 2016 committed to managing the business for the long term,” he added.
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