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OAK BROOK, IL-Coming off a record-setting 2006, McDonalds will open 800 new restaurants around the world next year, executives said at its fourth quarter conference call. The chain will open 200 new units in the United States, 150 units in Europe (mainly in Russia, France and Italy), and 375 restaurants in Asia/Pacific, mostly in China and Japan.

“McDonald’s is perfect positioned to capitalize on this opportunity,” said Jim Skinner, CEO. The company will spend about $1.9 billion in capital expenditures, including $700 million on opening new units.

The company will expand its drive-thrus, expanding in Europe and opening 50 new units in China. The company also will continue its plan to boost its licensed units, with a goal of owning less than 30% of its restaurants in markets where laws are conducive franchising, added Matthew H. Paull, senior executive VP and CFO.

For the fourth quarter, the company reported sales of $5.6 billion, up 11% (7% in constant currencies) compared with the previous year. Net income was $1.2 billion. Comparable-unit sales rose 6.3%.

For the year, the chain posted record revenues of $21.6 billion, up 9% (7% in constant currencies) from 2006, and recording net income of $3.5 billion, up 11% from the previous year. During the year, the company disposed of its investment in Chipotle Mexican Grill, boosting earnings. Global comparable sales rose 5.7%

“I’m pleased to report that 2006 was an outstanding year for McDonald’s,” Skinner says. McDonald’s operates more than 30,000 local restaurants in more than 119 countries.

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