Fast food giant McDonald's spent $173 million on local produce for its New Zealand stores last year, an increase of $18m from a year earlier.

If you factor in the New Zealand produce sent to Australia, the United States and the South Pacific, the company's total bill came to $344m.

In the 2018 calendar year McDonald's purchased more than 89 million buns, rolls, bagels and muffins and 850,000kg of lettuce - enough to stretch the length of 3400 rugby fields.

It went through 14.12 million free range eggs, 6.86 million kg of beef just in New Zealand, and a further 22.45 million kg was purchased globally.

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The company also went through 1.6 million kg of cheese and diary products, or 12.7 million globally, the equivalent in weight to around 705 double-decker buses, exported to other McDonald's restaurants around the world.

McDonald's also went through 11 million kg of potato product in New Zealand, 253kg of tomatoes, 5.3 million litres of dairy beverages and desserts and 3.6 million kg of chicken.

The company exported a further $171m worth of New Zealand product to other restaurants around the world.

"A $341m spend on local ingredients from farms and suppliers across New Zealand is a great contribution to New Zealand's economy and we're especially proud of that at McDonald's," company managing director Dave Howse said.

"We have long-term relationships with our New Zealand suppliers, many going back decades. Like us, they continue to invest in their businesses and lead the way in producing quality, safe and delicious food."

The world's biggest hamburger chain said its sales rose 4.4 per cent at established store locations in the fourth quarter of its last financial year, and 4.5 per cent for the year.

Steve Easterbrook, McDonald's president and chief executive, in January said the company's October-December period was the 14th straight quarter that McDonald's had seen global same-store sales growth.

He said 2018 was the second consecutive year that McDonald's global guest count rose, an achievement not seen since 2012.

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The company reported earnings of US$1.42 billion ($2.11b) or $2.71 per share in the fourth quarter.

McDonald's New Zealand will post its full-year results in May.

McDonald's opened its first New Zealand restaurant in Porirua in 1976. Today it has 170 restaurants across the country and employs more than 10,000 people.

- additional reporting AP