In the U.S., sales were boosted by sales of breakfast items and the seasonal addition of the peppermint mocha to the company's coffee menu.
The world's largest fast-food chain says revenue at stores open at least 13 months rose 6.5 percent in both the U.S. and Europe and 8.1 percent in the region covering Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa.
The figures are a snapshot of money spent on food at both company-owned and franchised restaurants. They do not reflect corporate revenue. The comparison is a key measure of a restaurant chain's performance, because it excludes the impact of recently opened or closed stores.
Its shares rose $1.72, or 1.8 percent, to $98.17 in premarket trading.
European sales were driven by the United Kingdom, France, Russia and Germany, along with new mid-priced and premium products and sales promotions, the Oak Brook, Ill.-based company said.
Sales in the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa region were led by Japan and China.
Like many companies, McDonald's is focusing on overseas markets as the U.S. economy continues to struggle. The U.S. accounts for about 31 percent of McDonald's total revenue. Europe is its largest market.
McDonald's chain has fared well in the recession and its aftermath, by reshaping itself as a hip, healthier place to eat. It has remodeled stores, installed wireless access and added fancy coffee drinks to the menu to try to appeal to customers who might normally go to Starbucks.
The company has added items like smoothies and oatmeal meant to appeal to healthier eaters. And it has continued to promote itself as a cheap place to get a meal.