Thu Apr 20 18:37

McDonald's profit up 15 per cent

(ADDS detail, comment)

Oak Brook, Illinois, April 20 (AFP) - McDonald's, the world's largest fast-food chain, said Thursday it's net profit rose 15 percent in the first quarter of 1995 to 280.7 million dollars, from 243.4 million a year earlier.

Earnings per share rose to 39 cents from 33 cents, slightly higher than forecasts of 38 cents.

Sales for the quarter rose 20 percent to 2.16 billion dollars. McDonald's 15,370 restaurants worldwide, including franchises, generated sales totalling 6.67 billion dollars in the first quarter of 1995, 17 percent more than in the same period of 1994.

Chairman and chief executive officer Michael Quinlan stressed that the first quarter results showed an increase even after adjustments to take account of the effect of the dollar's fall against other currencies.

He also stressed that the first quarter had to be compared with a particularly string first three months last year.

"Both the US and international businesses registered notable operating performance, and are poised for greater growth in our pursuit of global foodservice dominance," Quinlan said in a statement.

He also said that the first quarter results were in line with the group's expectations for the year, but gave no indication of what those expectations were.

McDonald's bought back 500 million dollars' worth of it's own shares as part of a plan to repurchase one billion dollars' worth of stock.

McDonald's shares fell 37 cents to 34.87 dollars in early afternoon trading on Wall Street on Thursday.

The United States has the most McDonald's restaurants of the 80 countries in the world where it operates, with 9,795.

Japan leads the field abroad with 1,138, followed by Canada with 727, Germany with 584, Britain with 530, Australia with 458, and France with 357.

AFP 201837 GMT APR 95