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McDonald's April sales fall more than expected

A McDonald's restaurant sign is seen at a McDonald's restaurant in Del Mar, California April 16, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Blake
A McDonald's restaurant sign is seen at a McDonald's restaurant in Del Mar, California April 16, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Blake

(Reuters) - McDonald's Corp's April sales at established restaurants declined slightly more than analysts had expected as it faced tougher times in Europe, Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa.

The world's biggest restaurant chain by sales is coming off a long run of outperforming smaller rivals, which have been more nimble in introducing attention-getting menu items.

Global sales at McDonald's restaurants open at least 13 months declined 0.6 percent in April, a little more than the 0.48 percent fall analysts on average had estimated, according to Consensus Metrix.

April same-restaurant sales fell 2.4 percent in Europe and 2.9 percent in the Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa (APMEA) region, where sales have been hit by an outbreak of bird flu in China.

Same-restaurant sales in the United States rose 0.7 percent.

Analysts had expected a 0.05 percent decline in the United States, a 1.01 percent fall in Europe and a 1.44 percent drop in APMEA, according to Consensus Metrix.

McDonald's shares closed at $102.29 on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles and Arpita Mukherjee in Bangalore; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Don Sebastian)

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