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.

“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.