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OAK BROOK, IL-In July, global systemwide sales for McDonald’s Corp. restaurants improved 6.1%, while overall comparable sales increased 4.9%.

In the United States, comparable sales climbed 4.9%. Europe’s comparable sales also improved, rising 5.3%, which the company attributes to McDonald’s region-specific fare in France and Germany. In Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa, comparable sales increased 4.1% in July led by Australia’s continued strong performance.

“Customers in both countries are responding to premium products like our Big Tasty hamburger and compelling value propositions such as our Les Petit Plaisir chicken sandwiches in France and Ein Mal Eins-branded affordability platform in Germany,” CEO Jim Skinner said in a statement. “I am encouraged by these results; however, we know that in some markets we still have challenges to achieving consistently positive performance.”

Year-to-date systemwide comparable sales in 2005 were up 3.9%, falling short of the 8.2% increase recorded last year. In the US, comparable sales increased 5%, a far cry from the 10.9% increase posted one year ago. In Europe, year-to-date comparable sales rose 1.9%, down from 3.7% increase of last year, and in the Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa region, year-to-date sales rose 3.5%, a fall from 2004′s increase of 7.3%.

McDonald’s owns more than 30,000 local restaurants in more than 100 countries. Approximately 70% of McDonald’s restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent franchisees.

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