McDonald's reported a dip in fourth-quarter profits Thursday as coronavirus restrictions in several leading European markets weighed on results.

The fast-food giant reported fourth-quarter profits of $1.4 billion, down 12 percent from the year-ago period. Revenues slipped two percent to $5.3 billion.

Global comparable sales declined 1.3 percent, with growth in the United States more than offset by drops in international markets.

Sales in the US have outperformed other markets throughout the coronavirus pandemic because many American locations have take-out or drive-through service.

McDonald's said most restaurants were open in the quarter ending December 31, but performance was crimped by government restrictions that limited dine-in capacity and in some cases shuttered dining rooms.

Revenue declines were especially pronounced in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Britain, McDonald's said in a securities filing.

McDonald's latest results show a stronger performance in the United States than Europe McDonald's latest results show a stronger performance in the United States than Europe Photo: AFP / LLUIS GENE

McDonald's Chief Executive Chris Kempczinski said the company has been "investing in the future" during the pandemic in digital initiatives, as well as drive-thru and delivery.

"We're confident we can continue to capture market share and drive long-term sustainable growth for all stakeholders," Kempczinski said.

Shares of McDonald's rose 0.3 percent to $207.70 in pre-market trading.

jmb/dw