McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE: MCD – News) announced today that global comparable sales increased 7.1 percent in January. Systemwide sales for McDonald’s worldwide restaurants were up 2.6 percent for the month, or 9.1 percent in constant currencies.

“2009 is off to a good start for McDonald’s as our Plan to Win is working in every area of the world,” said Chief Executive Officer Jim Skinner. “McDonald’s continues to appeal to customers as we offer high quality, affordable meal options and unparalleled convenience.”

In the U.S., comparable sales rose 5.4 percent in January. The popularity of McDonald’s core menu and breakfast drove results.

In Europe, the U.K., France, and Russia led January’s 7.1 percent comparable sales increase.

January comparable sales were up 10.2 percent in Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa due to strong sales growth in Australia and China. Locally relevant chicken and beef choices, convenient operating hours and successful Chinese New Year promotions contributed to January’s performance.

Jim Skinner added, “We are pleased with comparable sales performance around the world. For the month of February, it’s important to note that comparable sales will be negatively impacted by about 4 percentage points as prior year results included one extra day due to leap year. This compares with a calendar shift benefit of about 2 percentage points in January.”

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