McDonald's, the world's largest fast-food chain, said on Thursday that sales at restaurants open at least 13 months rose 5 percent globally in April, helped by strong sales in China, Australia and Russia.
Same-store sales, a key gauge of retail health, rose 2 percent in the United States, compared with a 6.3 percent rise in Europe. The Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa division posted growth of 7.8 percent.
McDonald's had forecast a 2 percent to 2.5 percent increase in the United States, a 5.5 percent to 6.5 percent increase in Europe, and a 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent increase in the Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa region.
Overseas sales have been overshadowing domestic results at McDonald's, which in March posted its first monthly sales decline at established domestic restaurants in five years.
Investors since have been closely watching the fast-food segment, which had been relatively resilient amid the U.S. economic slowdown as cash-strapped consumers move to cheaper restaurants.
McDonald's shares gained in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange.