McDonald's global same-store sales rise on strong demand for cheap menu items

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Jan 30 (Reuters) - McDonald's Corp on Tuesday reported a better-than-expected profit, luring U.S. diners with its new Buttermilk Crispy Tenders and cheap menu items, and saw stronger demand for its burgers in the United Kingdom and Canada.

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Global sales at stores open at least 13 months rose 5.5 percent, topping the 5 percent average estimate analysts had expected, according to Consensus Metrix.

Same-store sales in the United States rose 4.5 percent, marking its fourth straight quarterly gain, but in line with analysts' estimates.

The world's biggest restaurant chain by revenue benefited from demand for lower priced offerings, including its McPick 2 $5 combo and $2 coffees.

Net income fell to $698.7 million or 87 cents per share, from $1.19 billion or $1.44 per share, a year earlier, mainly due to a $700 million charge related to recent changes in U.S. tax law.

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Excluding items, the company earned $1.71 per share beating the $1.59 analysts on average had expected, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue fell 11.4 percent to $5.3 billion in the quarter ended Dec. 31, mainly due to refranchising, the company said.

McDonald's shares were down marginally in premarket trading on Tuesday. They have risen nearly 45 percent over the past 12 months.

(Reporting by Siddharth Cavale and Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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