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McDonald's May Sales Jump Sharply, Helped By Shrek Promotion

McDonald's posted its largest monthly comparable sales increase in more than three years, helped by the popularity of its small sandwiches in France and a big green ogre in the United States.

McDonald's shares traded higher Friday.

The world's largest restaurant chain said sales rose 8.7% in May at restaurants open at least 13 months, beating analysts expectations and the largest increase since April 2004.

Wall Street analysts had been expecting a rise of 5%, according to research notes.

Same-store sales, a key retail measure, rose 7.4% in the United States, helped by a promotional tie in with the DreamWorks movie "Shrek the Third" and continued strength in its breakfast business.

Same-store sales rose 8.9% in Europe, boosted by chicken snack wraps and other items in Germany and P'tit Plaisir sandwiches in France -- a line of smaller beef and chicken sandwiches.

Same-store sales rose 10.2% in the company's Asia/Middle East and Africa unit, helped by western-style breakfast items in China and deli chicken sandwiches and extended hours in Australia.

Systemwide total sales rose 11.9% in May, but were up 10 percent on a constant currency basis.

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