January 12, 2016 / 10:12 PM / 4 years ago

Yum says China same-store sales rise 1 percent in December

Customers walk into a KFC store in downtown Shanghai July 31, 2014. REUTERS/ Carlos Barria

(Reuters) - Yum Brands Inc (YUM.N), which is spinning off its China business, said December same-store sales increased 1 percent in the country, helped by a 5 percent rise at KFC.

The company said same-store sales fell 11 percent at Pizza Hut in China.

Shares of the company, which also owns Taco Bell, rose 3.2 percent in extended trading on Tuesday.

Yum also estimated a 2 percent rise in same-store sales for the fourth quarter ended December, including an estimated 6 percent growth at KFC and an 8 percent decline at Pizza Hut. (1.usa.gov/1mTunaJ)

The company warned investors in October that its results from China would continue to be volatile and said the division’s same-restaurant sales could be flat or rise up to 4 percent in the fourth quarter.

Yum had said it would report China division monthly sales until December 2015, and expects to spin off the business by the end of 2016.

The company’s sales in China, its dominant business, have taken a hit ever since a television news story in 2014 alleged that one of its suppliers was using meat that was past its expiration date.

Yum is scheduled to report fourth-quarter results on Feb.3.

Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Don Sebastian

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