McDonald’s, the fast-food giant, has reported a 5% rise in third quarter sales, driven by a strong performance in Europe. The company saw net income increase 9% in the quarter to $1.507bn, with revenue up 14% to $7.166bn. The chain said its performance in Europe, where sales rose 4.9%, was helped by its ongoing modernisation of its estate, with operating income up 15% across the continent. It said that France, Germany, Russia and UK led the region in terms of sales and operating income growth. Sales across its Asia/Pacific Africa and Middle East region rose 3.4% during the quarter, with operating income increasing 26%. Domestically, sales across its US stores were up 4.4% during the quarter, driven by value initiatives and new menu options. Jim Skinner, McDonald's chief executive, said: “McDonald's third quarter results reflect the ongoing strength of our customer-focused Plan to Win. We are executing the right strategies to grow the business for the long term while delivering consistently strong quarterly results. “The investments we are making to optimize our menu, modernize the restaurant experience and broaden McDonald's accessibility with ongoing convenience and value platforms are driving profitable market share growth - a clear indication that our strategy is working. As we enter the final quarter of 2011, our global comparable sales remain strong with October comparable sales expected to be up 4% to 5%.”