MCDONALD'S hailed the rapid growth of its delivery business and trials for smaller-format sites in the UK as the global business missed sales forecasts.

The fast food giant saw total sales increase 1% to $5.4 billion (£4.18bn) for the quarter to September, but shares slipped as growth slowed against strong comparatives.

In the UK, the company said growth was particularly driven by its continued online expansion and new products on its menu.

Paul Pomroy, chief executive officer of McDonald's UK and Ireland, said the restaurant group's McDelivery partnership with Uber Eats has surged in popularity.

The chain said that delivery is now available across 950 of its sites across the UK and accounts for just over 10% of all its UK business. On September 18, the company received a record 124,000 delivery orders, it added.

It said that it has also benefited from its launch of the My McDonald's app last year, which has had 3.6 million downloads since it was launched.

McDonald's said it has also continued with its site expansion programme and expects to have 40 new drive-thru and high street restaurants by the end of 2019.

Mr Pomroy added: "Together with our franchisees, and thanks to the hard work of all our people, I'm pleased to share that we have achieved a further quarter of growth.

"In today's world, this is not something that happens by chance - it is because we have stayed focused on the things that matter to our customers; great tasting food, great value, great service and unparalleled convenience."

He added that the recent launch of spicy McNuggets and its double quarter pounder "drove particularly strong performance".

The business also highlighted the "encouraging" performance of the new smaller-format McDonald's To Go store, which has a limited menu to improve speed of service, it launched in the quarter.

The UK chief added: "We are entering the festive period with momentum behind us.

"As we end 2019 and enter a new decade, I am confident that our customer-led and people-focused approach will see us enjoy continued success."