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Burger chain’s US sales fall again

Overall, McDonald’s sales rose but that was because of gains in Europe, Asia, and other overseas markets.

Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

Overall, McDonald’s sales rose but that was because of gains in Europe, Asia, and other overseas markets.

CHICAGO — McDonald’s Corp. said sales at established US stores fell for a third straight month as bad weather and waning consumer confidence kept diners at home.

Sales at stores open at least 13 months slid 3.3 percent last month. That followed drops of 3.8 percent in December and 0.8 percent in November.

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The Big Mac seller has recently struggled amid fierce competition. Last month, it posted fourth-quarter profit that was little changed from a year earlier.

Chief executive Don Thompson said the company was focused on improving results in the United States.

McDonald’s global same-store sales rose 1.2 percent as the overseas business improved.

Same-store sales gained 2 percent in Europe and 5.4 percent in the company’s Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa region in January.

McDonald’s, which gets about two-thirds of its revenue from outside the United States, has been expanding overseas. This year, it plans to spend about $1.5 billion to open as many as 1,600 stores in new locations, including 300 in China.

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