By Lisa Baertlein
Nov 29 Yum Brands Inc said on Thursday
that it expects a decline in fourth-quarter sales at established
restaurants in China, where a cooling economy is making it
difficult to exceed the 21 percent gain it had there a year
Yum, which gets more than half of its profits from China,
said that fourth-quarter same-restaurant sales are expected to
be down 4 percent in China, but they are expected to rise 4
percent at Yum Restaurants International and 3 percent in the
Same-restaurant sales are a main gauge of performance for
Shares of Yum, the parent of the KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza
Hut chains, fell 6 percent to $69.98 in extended trading.
The last time Yum reported a decline in same-restaurant
sales for China appears to have been in the fourth quarter of
2009, when those sales fell 3 percent in mainland China,
according to Yum's financial reports.
Representatives for Yum did not immediately respond to
requests for comment.
"For the fourth quarter, stronger-than-expected operating
performance from Yum Restaurants International and our U.S.
division is offsetting softer sales in China," Yum Chairman and
Chief Executive David Novak said in a statement.
Yum expects to open at least 800 restaurants this year in
China, where Novak said the company's prospects remain bright.
"Next year will be another strong year for our China
division. We are extremely confident Yum China remains the best
growth story in the restaurant industry," Novak said.
Yum also forecast 2013 earnings per share growth of at least
10 percent. It repeated its call for 2012 earnings per share
growth of at least 13 percent, or $3.24 per share, excluding