McDonald’s hailed “strong” UK growth as customers continued to be drawn through the golden arches despite the recession.

The fast food giant said it had continued to grow its market share in the downturn, with increased quarterly sales and customer numbers despite stagnation in the casual dining market.

McDonald’s said the enthusiasm of UK consumers for its menu choices and affordable prices had helped lead its Europe business to a 3.2 per cent rise in sales in the three months to March 31.

Steve Easterbrook, chief executive of McDonald’s UK and Northern Europe, said: “This marks our twelfth consecutive quarter of growth and has been achieved at a time when the informal eating out market in the UK was flat.”