Business / Companies

Yum Brands boasts banner quarter as McDonald's seeks to grow franchising

By Wang Zhuoqiong (China Daily) Updated: 2014-04-24 07:20

Yum Brands Inc saw a strong recovery in China in the first quarter, while McDonald's Corp is speeding up its franchising operations in the country to catch up with Yum's market share.

Yum Brands' China sales increased 17 percent in the first quarter compared with the same period of a year ago, with 7 percent unit growth and 9 percent same-store growth. Its restaurant margin increased 6.8 percentage points to 23.4 percent. Operating profit rose 80 percent.

Yum Brands boasts banner quarter as McDonald's seeks to grow franchising
Chinese fast food firms challenging McDonald's

Yum Brands boasts banner quarter as McDonald's seeks to grow franchising
 Yum warns of delay in China sales recovery

The momentum was encouraged by Yum's recent menu revamp, featuring the launch of 15 new products and a strong performance of its Pizza Hut subsidiary, according to a financial report released on April 22.

Gao Jianfeng, general manager at Shanghai-based Bogo Consultants, said Yum's improvement from last year was aided by increased customer traffic to Pizza Hut during the Spring Festival, a peak season for gatherings with colleagues, friends and family.

"The government austerity campaign that has pushed customers to more casual and lower-end restaurants also stimulated the sales at such restaurants as Pizza Hut," he said.

Last year, Yum's busineses were affected by food security issues brought on by a poultry supply incident, avian flu and a sluggish catering climate. Same-store sales were down 15 percent in 2013 in China, resulting in Yum's China operating profits decreasing 26 percent.

David Novak, chairman and CEO, said Yum Brands is clearly on its way to a strong bounce-back year, delivering first-quarter growth of 24 percent. Operating profit grew 80 percent in China, driven by strong sales and margin growth.

Novak said at least 700 new restaurants are expected to open in China this year. The company opened 123 new units in the first quarter. Its total number of restaurants in China, including KFC, Pizza Hut, East Dawning and Little Sheep, totaled 6,332. About 278 units of KFC are franchised in China, with 3,569 directly operated by the company at the end of 2013.

Previous Page 1 2 Next Page

Hot Topics

Editor's Picks