McDonald's Corp posted a 3.5 percent increase in quarterly profit on Wednesday, as sales at established restaurants rose despite a recession, and the company said April same-store sales are trending at least as strong or better than results in first quarter.

Oppenheimer restaurant analyst Matthew DiFrisco said the results were relatively in line with his expectations, with sales a little stronger than expected in Asia, but a bit softer in the United States.

They're holding the line, they're meeting their expectations, he said, but added: It was a company though that was exceeding expectations through much of the last two years so it will be interesting to see how the market reacts to an in-line quarter.

McDonald's shares were little changed at $55.52 in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

The world's largest hamburger chain said first-quarter net income rose to $979.5 million, or 87 cents per share, from $946.1 million, or 81 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding a 4-cent-per-share gain from the sale of its interest in Redbox Automated Retail LLC, it reported earnings of 83 cents per share, compared with analysts' average estimate of 82 cents per share, according to Reuters Estimates.

Total revenue fell to $5.08 billion from $5.61 billion.

McDonald's had warned in March that the stronger dollar, which lessens the dollar-value of sales made overseas, would cut revenue by $600 million in the quarter at current rates.

McDonald's and some other fast-food restaurants have benefited as a global economic downturn has sent customers to lower-priced fare, including the company's Dollar Menu items.

In the quarter, sales at restaurants open at least 13 months rose 4.3 percent globally. Same-store sales rose 5.5 percent in the Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa markets, rose 3.2 percent in Europe, and increased 4.7 percent in the United States.

U.S. results were boosted by strong demand for chicken, breakfast items and drinks, McDonald's said.

In Europe, results were strongest in Britain, France and Russia, while in its Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa markets, it said a strong sales performance in Australia and Japan helped offset weaker sales in China.

(Reporting by Nicole Maestri, editing by Maureen Bavdek)