US fastfood giant McDonald’s has posted a net profit in the fourth quarter of 2003, versus a year-earlier loss.

The company reported net income of US$125.7m for the fourth quarter to 31 December, compared to a loss of $343.8m in the year-ago quarter.

Fourth-quarter revenue was $4.56bn, compared to $3.90bn a year earlier, while comparable sales rose 7.4%.

For the full year 2003, the company posted net income of $1.47bn, compared to $893.5m in the previous year. Revenues rose to $17.14bn from $15.41bn a year earlier.

CEO Jim Cantalupo said the company would continue with its “revitalisation” plan during 2004.

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“In 2004, improving operations at each of our existing restaurants will remain our top priority. As a result, we will spend more on reimaging restaurants, while opening a similar number of units in 2004 as in 2003,” Cantalupo said.

McDonald’s also announced that senior chairman Fred Turner has announced his retirement after 48 years with the company.