McDonald's restarts share buybacks as business recovers from pandemic hit

A McDonald's restaurant sign is seen in San Diego, California March 31, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Blake

Sept 23 (Reuters) - McDonald's Corp said on Thursday it would restart share buybacks and also increased its quarterly dividend by 7%, as the world's largest fast food chain recovers from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

  McDonald's had suspended its $15 billion buyback program early last year as the burger chain looked to conserve cash in order to navigate through the COVID-19 health crisis that had forced many of its restaurants to close their doors to diners. 

  But global sales are now above pre-pandemic levels, with the company raising its guidance for fiscal 2021 in July on the hope people will continue to head out to restaurants as economies reopen. 

  The burger chain declared a quarterly cash dividend of $1.38 per share payable on December 15, taking its fourth-quarter dividend payout to over $1 billion. 

  (Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri) 

(Adds details on dividends, background) 

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