Sales across McDonald’s stores worldwide rose by 3.7 per cent as the world’s largest restaurant chain maintained its good form in Europe. Amid huge growth in China and Australia, European sales rose just below the average at 3 per cent — analysts had projected an increase of 3.9 per cent. Sales in the company’s Asia Pacific, Africa and Middle East region climbed 5.7 per cent last month, far outweighing analysts’ prediction of closer to four per cent. Chief executive officer Don Thompson has tried to lure diners with value lunches and dinners in China amid a slowing economy and more competition from local brands. McDonald's, which gets about 22 per cent of its revenue from the Asia Pacific, Africa and the Middle East unit, plans to open as many as 250 stores in China this year. "They're working on more value right now everywhere in the world, including China," Larry Miller, an Atlanta-based analyst at RBC Capital Markets, said in an interview. McDonald's comparable-store sales increased 3 per cent in the US and 3.1 per cent in Europe.