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McDonald's cooks up more sales

OAK BROOK, ILL. — McDonald’s Corp. extended its winning streak in May as customers bought more of the fast-food chain’s cheap eats, the world’s largest burger chain said today.

McDonald’s also said it will take a hit to its full-year profit because of the weak euro, which accounts for about 25 percent of its operating income. The burger chain said the effect would be minimal in the second quarter.

Sales in locations open at least a year rose 4.8 percent around the globe last month. The measure rose 3.4 percent in the U.S. to extend a streak of gains recorded since February.

The figure climbed 5.7 percent in Europe and 3.8 percent in other regions.

Sales from locations open at least a year are a key indicator of a restaurant chain’s performance because they exclude growth at stores that open or close during the year.

CEO Jim Skinner said U.S. sales are being driven by the company’s new icy drinks, chicken nuggets and Happy Meals.

Late in 2009 and early this year, McDonald’s saw three monthly sales declines in four months as the weak economy and high unemployment finally started to hit its U.S. business.

In April, the measure rose 3.8 percent in the U.S.

Its shares rose 50 cents to $67.25 in premarket trading today. Shares closed yesterday at $66.75.

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