Fastfood giant McDonald's Malaysian franchise holder Golden Arches Restaurants Sdn Bhd says its outlets nationwide are facing a shortage of chicken, according to the Malay Mail newspaper.

Golden Arches manages 170 McDonald's outlets in Malaysia.

"The shortage of chicken started since April this year," said Golden Arches general manager Yousif Abdul Ghani in an e-mail reply to Mail Money.

He said that the shortage is affecting certain products on its menu such as the popular grilled chicken foldover.

"Previously, we only use breast meat to prepare our grilled chicken. But due to the shortage, we are now using breast and thigh meat to prepare the dish," said Yousif.

He added that prices for the grilled chicken will remain the same.

According to Yousif, the shortage of chicken is because Golden Arches can only procure chicken locally.

"Import of fresh chicken is banned," Yousif said without elaborating.

Yousif said that due to the shortage, prices of chicken have gone up by as much as 20%. A Golden Arches official had earlier told Mail Money during a telephone interview that the company expects sales to grow by as much as 20% this year.

On the average, sales have grown between 10% and 15% a year, the official said.