U.S. Markets closed

McDonald's April global comparable sales rise 1.2 percent; U.S. flat

The corporate logo of McDonald's Corp fast food chain is seen on display in the Malaysian town of Pekan May 4, 2013. REUTERS/Bazuki Muhammad

(Reuters) - McDonald's Corp (MCD) on Thursday reported an increase in global sales at established restaurants for April, with disappointing sales in Europe and flat business in the United States.

The world's biggest restaurant chain by revenue said worldwide sales at restaurants open at least 13 months grew 1.2 percent last month. That was in line with analysts' average estimate, according to Consensus Metrix.

The fast-food giant has struggled at home, due to sluggish job and wage growth, tougher competition from resurgent fast-food rivals and internal missteps that have complicated menus and slowed service.

McDonald's has not reported a comparable sales gain since October in the United States, which generates 31 percent of revenue. Analysts polled by Consensus Metrix expected McDonald's April same-restaurant U.S. sales to be down 0.1 percent.

The company said in a statement that "industry dynamics remained challenging."

Europe is the chain's top region, accounting for 40 percent of sales, but business there fell short of the mark. Comparable sales rose 0.3 percent, well below the 1.9 percent rise analysts expected.

Asia comparable sales were up 2.9 percent, better than the 1 percent increase analysts expected.

(Reporting by Phil Wahba in New York and Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles; Editing by Bernadette Baum)