McDonald’s has reported total earnings of $5.14bn for its first quarter ending 31 March 2018, a 9% decrease compared to the previous year.

The decrease is due to the impact of the company’s strategic refranchising initiative to focus on expansion.

The fast food chain also reported a 13% increase in net income of $1.37bn, compared to $2.03bn for the same period the previous year.

The company reported a 17% increase in diluted earnings per share to $1.72 for the first quarter 2018, while operating income grew by 5% to $2.14bn.

McDonald’s president and chief executive officer Steve Easterbrook said: “We continued to build upon the broad-based momentum of our business, marking 11 consecutive quarters of positive comparable sales and our fifth consecutive quarter of positive guest counts.

“We are satisfying the rising expectations customers have for the taste and quality of our food.”

“We’re keeping the customer at the centre of everything we do as we continue enhancing their McDonald’s experience.”

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In addition, sales by company-operated restaurants decreased by 26% to $2.52bn, while revenues from franchised restaurants grew 15% to $2.6bn.

Global comparable sales increased by 5.5% while the first quarter comparable sales in the US increased by 2.9% due to a rise in average check from menu price increases and product mix shifts.

Furthermore, global comparable guest counts increased by 0.8% and system-wide sales increased by 7% in constant currencies.

Easterbrook added: “Guided by our Velocity Growth Plan, we are satisfying the rising expectations customers have for the taste and quality of our food and greater convenience as they visit our restaurants or enjoy meals delivered to their homes and offices.

“We are confident in the strategies guiding our business for today and for long-term sustained growth into the future.”