Pre-tax profits at McDonald’s fast-food restaurants in Ireland rose by 12.3pc last year.

Profit after tax jumped to €12.7m as sales rose 4.3pc to €81.35m and employment at the company rose by 211 over the same period, it announced this morning.

McDonald’s, which owns or franchises 84 restaurants in Ireland, is the third-largest multinational employer, with more than 4,200 employees.

Its total system wide sales last year reached €220m in 2012, up from €209m in 2011. The growth comes as a result of the full-year benefit of four new restaurant openings in 2011.

McDonald’s opened two new restaurants in 2012, in Charlestown Shopping Centre and in Airside Retail Park, Co Dublin.  The company is on track to deliver 700 new jobs by the end of 2015, through the opening of up to 12 new restaurants nationwide, it added.

During 2012, McDonald’s Ireland also announced a number of significant supplier deals with Irish companies, including a €300m beef contract with Dawn Meats and an agreement with Ballygowan Natural Mineral Water to becoming exclusive bottled water supplier to McDonald’s Ireland.

Another highlight last year was a new supplier deal with Tipperary-based bacon producer Dew Valley, which was awarded a multimillion euro contract to supply up to nine million pieces of cooked Irish bacon annually to McDonald’s, with potential for future exports.

In addition Irish porridge oats producer Flahavan’s was also awarded a contract to supply McDonald’s.

Commenting on the 2012 results, Adrian Crean, managing director of McDonald’s Restaurants of Ireland said: “2012 represents a very solid performance across our Irish operations, despite the challenging economic backdrop and a declining market for informal eating out. We’ve continued to grow our business by investing in our restaurants, listening to our customers and delivering a quality proposition at an affordable price point.

“This year has seen a number of significant sourcing announcements which means that all McDonald’s beef, bacon, dairy produce, water and eggs are 100 per cent Irish and sourced from Bord Bia Quality Assured Irish farms. We anticipate that we will continue to grow the amount of Irish produce we purchase and export to our international supply chain, in the years ahead.

“2013 has already seen an upturn in consumer confidence and we welcome measures from government that are supportive of the domestic economy. McDonald’s is very well positioned to take advantage of future economic growth and we look forward to delivering on our expansion plans and employment over the next two years.”