McDonald's ( MCD) reported a 13.9% increase in worldwide same-restaurant sales last month and a 20.1% increase in U.S. outlets open more than 13 weeks, helped in part by the extra day for leap year.

The same-restaurant sales figures exclude the impact from currency translation, a factor that would've further boosted international results in February 2004. By contrast, worldwide same-restaurant sales fell 4.7% in February 2003 compared with February 2002 -- a time when the hamburger chain was struggling with overcapacity and poor public perceptions of its menu.

Total systemwide sales shot up 22.6% in February 2004 from a year ago, or 14.8% in constant currencies. In the U.S., total systemwide sales rose 21.1% in February 2004 compared with last year.

"While we know that a combination of unique factors contributed to February's impressive results, we also know that our Plan to Win is positively impacting performance worldwide," the company said in a release.

"Our actions to improve the customer experience with better-tasting food, improved service, relevant marketing and enhanced menu variety are clearly working," McDonald's said. "Our progress to date has been significant, yet we still have more to do to create consistently relevant and satisfying customer experiences. We will remain focused and disciplined as we pursue our long-term objective of sustainable growth."

The shares were recently trading for $28.95 on the Instinet premarket session, up 11 cents, or 0.3% from their 4 p.m. EST close. McDonald's shares have more than doubled over the last 12 months compared with a roughly 40% rise in the S&P 500.