Fastfood giant McDonald’s has reported a robust rise in second-quarter sales as US customers warmed to their breakfast offering while promotional activities around the FIFAWorld Cup boosted demand in Europe.

The company said that global comparable sales rose by 5.9% in June, and 5.5% across the second quarter. Comparable sales in the US were up by 5.2% in June and 4.2% in the quarter, while these figures for the company’s European business showed growth of 4.5% in June and 6.3% for the quarter.

As a result, the company said it expects second-quarter earnings to be 67 cents per share including a 10 cent-per-share boost from the sale of its holding in Chipotle Mexican Grill and 2 cents in charges related to the pending sale of a group of restaurants to a licensee and a change in the Canadian income tax law.

CEO Jim Skinner said that McDonald’s “continued to be the favoured breakfast destination,” which together with a popular Happy Meal promotion drove much of the sales growth in the US.

He cited France, Germany and the UK as making key contributions to the company’s strong European performance in June, when much of the World Cup took place. While McDonald’s home market of the US is traditionally less concerned with football than European countries, Skinner commented: “We also shared their passion for the World Cup with exciting promotions in June.” The company has also added more premium sandwiches and salads to its European menus.

For the first half of 2006, the company said, sales were up 5.4% in the US compared with 5% a year ago, and up 4.1% in Europe compared with 1.3% a year ago.