France is proving to be a lucrative market for McDonald’s despite being the spiritual home of fine dining, with the country reported to be the company’s most profitable in Europe. The group has seen double-digit sales growth in France during the first quarter of the year, following a positive 2007, when revenues increased 11% to Eu3bn (£2.3bn), almost 10% on a like-for-like basis. The Big Mac has been reported to be outpacing rivals in the French fast-food arena, according to The Times. The reason for the burger chain’s success in France, which is renowned for bring resistant to international chains, has been put down to local management and to Jean Pierre Petit, the chief executive of McDonald’s in France. Petit has incorporated French cultural elements into the business, by selling burgers with Reblochon cheese and making the outlets more stylish, with designs including leather, steel and pastel shades. McDonald’s, which operates on enormous economies of scale, is also believed to be benefiting from the current economic environment, with customers faced with tighter household budgets looking for more value priced meals.