Yum Brands profit rises on China growth

Updated: 2011-04-21 14:27


Twitter Facebook Myspace Yahoo! Linkedin Mixx

Yum Brands profit rises on China growth
A Pizza Hut restaurant is pictured in Burbank, California April 19, 2011. Taco Bell is part of Yum! Brands, the world's largest company of system restaurants, including Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and KFC.[Agencies]

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky - Yum Brands Inc., owner of the Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and KFC fast-food brands, said Wednesday that its first-quarter profit rose 10 percent as growth in its China operations more than offset sluggish performance in the US.

The company kept up its rapid expansion during the quarter, opening 223 new restaurants, including 92 in China. Restaurant growth overseas has been a key driver for Yum's profit growth.

Its shares closed Wednesday at $51.55, up 66 cents, and rose another $3.31, or 6.4 percent, after hours.

Edward Jones analyst Jack Russo said the market was responding favorably to Yum's strong showing in China.

"I think the real surprise was China's same-store sales were well above expectations," he said.

Revenue at stores open at least a year rose 13 percent in China during the quarter, the company said. The comparison is an important indicator for retailers and restaurant companies because it excludes locations that recently opened or closed.

Operating profit in Yum's fast-growing China operations grew 18 percent, adjusted for currency fluctuations. The growth was partly attributed to expanding delivery and 24-hour operations at KFC.

"Our China business continues to fire on all cylinders," Yum Chairman and CEO David C. Novak said.


Models gear up car sales

Beauty helps steer buyers as market accelerates.

Urban breathing space

City park at heart of industrial hub positions itself as top tourism attraction

On a roll

Auto hub Changchun also sets its sight on taking lead in railway sector

Peking Opera revival
25 years after Chernobyl
Luxury car show