Yum! Brands Inc. said Monday fourth-quarter earnings increased 30 percent, driven by a revenue jump of 15 percent from strength in China and new unit openings around the world.
The parent company to Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and KFC said international growth, in terms of revenue and margins, offset a weaker performance in the United States, where revenue fell 4 percent but operating profit rose about 10 percent. Louisville, Ky.-based Yum operates and franchises more than 37,000 restaurants worldwide.
For the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, Yum earned $356 million, or 75 cents per share, compared with earnings of $274 million, or 56 cents per share in the same quarter a year earlier. Latest-quarter revenue totaled $4.11 billion, up from $3.56 billion a year earlier.
Fourth-quarter same-store sales increased 21 percent in China, 3 percent in Yum’s international division and 1 percent in the United States. The domestic gain reflected a 6-percent increase in same-store sales at Pizza Hut, offset by decreases of 2 percent at Taco Bell and 1 percent at KFC.
For the full year, Yum booked net income of $1.32 billion, or $2.74 per share, compared with earnings of $1.16 billion, or $2.38 per share, in fiscal 2010. Revenue rose 11 percent to $12.63 billion.
Same-store sales for the full year rose 19 percent in China and 3 percent in Yum International, while falling 1 percent in the United States. Pizza Hut’s domestic same-store sales were even for the full year, while both Taco Bell’s and KFC’s same-store sales declined 2 percent in the United States, the company reported.
Yum opened a record 656 restaurants in China in 2011, and opened another 905 locations in other international markets.