Shares in the company, which gets more than half of its sales from
China, rose 3.8 percent in after-hours trade to $80.40.
Yum's restaurant sales in China included an increase of 11 percent
at KFC and a rise of 8 percent at Pizza Hut Casual Dining.
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 are KFCs.
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
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Fast-food rival McDonald's Corp <MCD.N> said earlier on Tuesday that
its first-quarter same-restaurant sales in China were up 6.6
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 earlier.
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 2014.
(Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles; editing by G. Crosse and Gunna Dickson)
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