McDonalds' profits boost

Fast-food giant McDonalds saw its profits double in the last three months of 2006, following the sale of it burrito business Chipotle and boosting it European sales.

The chain saw profits hit $1.2bn (£610m) in the quarter ending 31 December, from $608.5m the previous year.

McDonalds said the improvement in results, which saw European sales reach their highest level in 15 year, was down to new products.

McDonald's chief executive Jim Skinner said the firm's focus on serving customers a "balance of new menu items, premium products and everyday value in convenient, contemporary locations" helped results.

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