Yum! Brands Inc., owner of the KFC and Pizza Hut restaurant chains, reported second-quarter profit that topped analysts’ estimates as sales in China began to recover from the avian flu scare and a probe of a supplier.
Net income fell 15 percent to $281 million, or 61 cents a share, from $331 million, or 69 cents, a year earlier, the Louisville, Kentucky-based company said Wednesday in a statement. Excluding certain items, profit was 56 cents a share. Analysts projected 54 cents, the average of 22 estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
Yum has faced a backlash in China at KFC after an outbreak of avian flu scared diners away from poultry and a former chicken supplier was investigated for selling food with too much antibiotics. Sales at Chinese stores open at least 12 months fell 10 percent in June. That was less than the 12 percent decline estimated by analysts surveyed by Consensus Metrix and better than drops of 19 percent in May and 29 percent in April.
Yum rose 1.3 percent to $73.31 at 4:20 p.m. in New York. The shares advanced 9 percent this year through the close of regular trading Wednesday, compared with a 17 percent gain for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Restaurants Index.
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