McDonald’s has posted a first quarter 2006 revenue increase of 6%, compared to the same period last year, and improved margins in all geographical segments.

Revenue for Q1 2006 was US$5.1bn, compared to $4.8bn in 2005’s first quarter. Operating income increased by 2% on the back of this income, at $923.8m.

The fastfood giant closed a number of restaurants in the UK during the quarter, completed the buy out of certain franchisees in Brazil, and moved forward on the anticipated sale of a small market in Europe to a developmental licensee.

CEO Jim Skinner said: “Strategic initiatives aligned behind McDonald’s Plan to Win are strengthening our competitive position and delivering positive results worldwide. Performance for the first quarter reflected more customer visits and enhanced profitability as we continued to connect with our customers and increase the relevance of our brand.”

McDonald’s marked its 36th consecutive month of positive comparable sales in the US, driving the segment’s double-digit revenue growth and margin improvement.

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Next week the company adds its Asian Salad with grilled or crispy chicken, mandarin orange slices, red bell peppers, soybeans, snow peas and almonds to the US menu.

McDonald’s intends to focus on improving the Europe and Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa segments, with everyday value, balanced with premium products that appeal to local tastes. Skinner said: “While I am pleased with these results, we remain focused on further strengthening the contribution from both of these critical business segments.”

The company reported diluted earnings per share of $0.49 for the quarter and repurchased $1.0bn or 29.5 million shares of its stock.

In its outlook the company said it is committed to returning value to shareholders through share repurchase and dividends.