Pizza Hut same-restaurant sales growth help Yum Brands beat Street

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[November 02, 2017]  (Reuters) - Pizza Hut broke a five-quarter streak of declining sales, helping owner Yum Brands Inc <YUM.N> report profit and revenue for the third quarter above Wall Street expectations on Thursday.

The sign at a Pizza Hut location, which is owned by Yum Brands Inc, is pictured ahead of their company results in Pasadena, California U.S., July 11, 2016. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Pizza Hut has struggled in recent quarters amid competition, most notably from Domino's <DPZ.N>, which has maintained strong growth in the United States thanks to its dominance in digital ordering, customization and promotions.

But Pizza Hut's latest results showed that efforts to turn around the franchise through more advertising and promotions were beginning to pay off.

Measures included making its popular $7.99 large, two-topping pizzas available for online ordering and improving its mobile app.

Sales at the chain's restaurants open at least a year rose 1 percent, compared with the 0.5 percent decline expected by analysts polled by research firm Consensus Metrix.

Pizza Hut's same-restaurant sales rose 4 percent in developed markets, which include Continental Europe, Japan and the United Kingdom. Sales in the United States and emerging markets remained flat.

Yum Brands, which also owns the KFC and the Taco Bell chains, reported global same-restaurant sales growth of 3 percent in the quarter, better than the 1.7 percent increase expected by analysts.

Net income from continuing operations rose to $418 million, or $1.18 per share, in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, from $218 million, or 55 cents per share, last year.

Excluding items, the company earned 68 cents per share.

Revenue was $1.44 billion, compared to $3.31 billion a year earlier. The company spun off its China business in November last year.

Analysts on average had expected earnings of 67 cents per share on revenue of $1.39 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

(Reporting by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr)

[ 2017 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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