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McDonald's profit up despite fewer customers

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NEW YORK (AP) — McDonald's eked out a higher profit for its fourth quarter, even as a slowdown in customer traffic dragged down a key sales figure.

The world's biggest hamburger chain says global sales slipped 0.1 percent at established locations. In the U.S., where it recently revamped its Dollar Menu, the figure fell 1.4 percent.

The figure is a key metric because it strips out the volatility of newly opened and closed locations.

CEO Don Thompson says the figure is expected to be "relatively flat" for January.

For the quarter, McDonald's Corp. earned $1.4 billion, or $1.40 per share, which is a penny more than Wall Street expected. A year ago, it earned $1.39 billion, or $1.38 per share.

Revenue rose to $7.09 billion, just shy of the $7.1 billion analysts expected.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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