(Adds company comment, details on China results, results)
April 22 KFC parent Yum Brands Inc on
Tuesday said first-quarter sales at established restaurants in
China, its top market, rose 9 percent as it recovers from an
avian flu outbreak and a food safety scare that pummeled demand
for chicken last year.
Shares in the company, which gets more than half of its
sales from China, rose 3.8 percent in after-hours trade to
Yum's restaurant sales in China included an increase of 11
percent at KFC and a rise of 8 percent at Pizza Hut Casual
Analysts polled by Consensus Metrix were expecting Yum's
China sales to rise 9.4 percent.
The fast-food operator gets more than half of its overall
sales from China, where most of its more than 6,300 restaurants
In the first quarter of last year, China same-restaurant
sales fell 20 percent, including a 24 percent drop at KFC and 2
percent decline at Pizza Hut Casual Dining.
The China division's first quarter includes only January and
"Looking ahead, we have significant building blocks in place
in China and each of our divisions to drive sales and profit
growth this year and beyond," David Novak, Yum's chairman and
chief executive, said in a statement.
China's KFC first-quarter results got a boost from a crispy
chicken promotion that featured contemporary Chinese
celebrities, spokesman Jonathan Blum told Reuters.
Yum also has been revamping its product lineup to attract
more diners. In late March, KFC changed its menus to include 15
items that were either completely new or formerly only available
as limited-time offers.
Fast-food rival McDonald's Corp said earlier on
Tuesday that its first-quarter same-restaurant sales in China
were up 6.6 percent.
Yum also reported first-quarter net income of $399 million,
or 89 cents per share, for the first quarter that ended March
22, compared with $337 million, or 74 cents per share, a year
The company, which will hold a conference call with
financial analysts on Wednesday morning, also repeated its
forecast for earnings per share growth of at least 20 percent in
(Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles, editing by G
Crosse and Gunna Dickson)