McDonald's reported higher profits Thursday on price increases and fewer impacts from Covid-19 restrictions despite higher operating costs.

In the United States, the fast-food giant cited "strategic menu price increases,"as well as marketing pushes around the McRib and Crispy Chicken Sandwiches as drivers of higher sales.

The company also saw strong sales growth in several countries outside its home market, including France, Britain, Italy and Germany.

But ongoing Covid-19 restrictions in Australia resulted in "relatively flat" comparable sales, while China's results were dented by a resurgence in the virus.

McDonald's reported higher profits on price increases and strong consumer demand despite higher costs McDonald's reported higher profits on price increases and strong consumer demand despite higher costs Photo: AFP / WANG Zhao

 

"Covid-19 continued to result in varying levels of government restrictions on restaurant operating hours, limited dine-in capacity and, in some cases, dining room closures," McDonald's said.

"The company has applied appropriate precautionary measures, including following the guidance of expert health authorities, and will continue to adapt and enhance its approach in order to protect the safety and well-being of its customers and people."

Net profit in the fourth quarter was $1.6 billion, up 19 percent from the year-ago period on a 13 percent rise in revenues to $6 billion.

Like other sectors, restaurants have also had to contend with higher costs for salaries and operations. Total costs rose 14 percent to $3.6 billion.

Shares fell 2.2 percent to $244.30 in pre-market trading.