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Sales Strong Despite EU Turmoil, Economy: McDonald's CEO

Business continues to be good for McDonald's, despite high unemployment in the U.S. and turmoil in Europe, Chief Executive Jim Skinner told CNBC Tuesday, and "there's a lot of room for opportunity."

Josephine Hernandez hands a tray of drinks to a drive thru customer at a McDonald's restaurant in Redwood City, California.
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Josephine Hernandez hands a tray of drinks to a drive thru customer at a McDonald's restaurant in Redwood City, California.

"Europe performs very well for our business model," he said. Then again, he said, the McDonald's business model "operates fairly well in any economy, with some adaptation relative to the local business environment."

In Europe, same-store sales rose 4.8 percent, above expectations of 3.4 percent.

"We’re growing across every part of our business in Europe, as we are in the rest of the world," Skinner said, and that includes everything from premium meals to dollar meals.

Higher commodities costs are expected next year, but "no greater than we had in 2011," Skinner said. McDonald's works with its franchisees "to mitigate those costs the best way we can and so we ride that out," he said.

"We’ve taken some price increase along the way as well…We don’t take it all. We don’t pinch the conusumers, we look closely at food away from home and food at home, and index our pricing accordingly."

What's next for the chain where billions have been served? Skinner said there are 600 items in the McDonald's pipeline, including new snacks and beverages.

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