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All-day Breakfast Boosts McDonald's Hamburger Chain

FILE - In this Thursday, July 31, 2014 file photo, a customer walks past a statue of Ronald McDonald on display outside a McDonald's restaurant in Beijing. McDonald's Corp. on Monday, Nov. 10, 2014 said that a key global sales figure slipped 0.5 percent in October, with weakness in the U.S. and ongoing difficulties from a food-safety scandal in China weighing down its business.

Serving all-day breakfast may have pulled fast food giant McDonald's out of its long slump.

In a report issued Monday, the company said fourth quarter sales at locations that have been open for more than a year rose 5.7 percent, the first growth in seven quarters.

In a news release, McDonald's said the rise was due to “the October launch of All Day Breakfast and, to a lesser extent, unseasonably mild weather.”

Offering breakfast all day long was something the company had resisted for years, despite the popularity of its signature breakfast sandwich, the Egg McMuffin.

The company had stopped serving breakfast at 10:30 a.m.

McDonald's long slump had been caused by competition from other, perceived healthier fast food options such as Chipotle Mexican Grill as well as increased competition from upstart hamburger chains such as Five Guys.

Sales had also been hurt as a result of a food safety scare in China in 2014.

According to The Wall Street Journal, McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook said in October that he was “very encouraged” by the introduction of the all-day breakfast option.

All day breakfast is one of several initiatives taken by the company to update its image.

In a news release, Easterbrook said the company’s turnaround plan will make McDonald's a “modern and progressive burger company.”