US fastfood giant McDonald’s has reported a 4.9% rise in comparable sales and a 9.6% increase in global systemwide sales at its McDonald’s restaurants for December.

For 2004, the company said its comparable sales for McDonald’s restaurants rose 6.9% compared to the previous year, with monthly global comparable sales remaining positive throughout the year – something the company has not achieved since 1987. Global systemwide sales at McDonald’s restaurants rose 12.0% for the year, a rise of 7.8% at constant currencies.

US comparable sales rose 6.9% for December and 9.6% for the year, while European comparable sales rose 2.2% for December and 2.4% for the year.

McDonald’s said it served more than 48 million customers per day during 2004, an increase of 1.6 million customers per day over the prior year.

“Our global results for December were fuelled by the performance of our US business, which continues to reflect the combined strength of our strategic service, menu and marketing initiatives. In Europe, December comparable sales rose 2.2%, driven by performance in the UK and France,” said CEO Jim Skinner.

“I am pleased with our 2004 results, and remain confident that 2005 will be another strong year. With relentless focus on our customers, global alignment around the Plan to Win, and ongoing fiscal discipline, we expect to further strengthen our business to deliver sustained profitable growth for all McDonald’s stakeholders,” he added.