updated 3/8/2011 9:37:24 AM ET 2011-03-08T14:37:24

Subway now has more restaurants worldwide than McDonald's.

The sandwich chain surpassed the world's largest hamburger chain in terms of number of stores in the U.S. in 2002 and now it has taken the global lead.

Subway had 33,749 restaurants worldwide at the end of last year, according to the company. McDonald's Corp. had 32,737, according a regulatory filing.

McDonald's, however, remains the revenue champion. The company reported $24 billion in revenue for its last fiscal year. Subway generated roughly $15.2 billion, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.

Subway is a privately held company that does not publicly disclose its financial performance.

McDonald's on Tuesday said global sales at established restaurants in February rose 3.9 percent, as strong sales in Europe helped offset a U.S. market that was hit by high unemployment and rising gasoline prices.

February sales at restaurants open at least 13 months were up 2.7 percent in the United States, helped by strong demand for its McCafe beverages, the fast-food hamburger chain said.

But Wall Street analysts on average were expecting a 3.6 percent increase in the United States.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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