Yum Brands (YUM), operator of U.S. fast-food names such as KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and Long John Silver’s, wants fast-food lovers to line up at their counters across Asia, China especially.
KFC was the first quick-service restaurant chain to enter China in 1987, the first to bring franchising to China in 1992, and the first to open a drive-through in China in 2002.
Yum says it opens nearly one new KFC every day in mainland China.
Pizza Hut was the first restaurant chain to introduce pizza and Western-style casual dining to China in 1990 and the first to introduce pizza delivery to China in 2001.
"Today, Pizza Hut is the No. 1 casual dining brand in mainland China with 520 Pizza Hut Casual Dining restaurants in over 130 cities and an additional 120 Pizza Hut Home Service delivery units," the company says.
Overall, the company is doing well. “In 2010, we achieved 17 percent earnings per share (EPS) growth, excluding special items, representing the ninth straight year that we exceeded our annual target of at least 10 percent. In fact, 17 percent EPS growth is our best in the last decade," company CEO David C. Novak says in the company's 2010 annual report.
A big chunk of business comes from outside of the United States. Sixty-five percent of the company's profits come from abroad.
China is a growth market, with profits during 2010 growing 26 percent, prior to foreign currency translation, on top of 24 percent growth in 2009 and 17 percent in 2008, according to company financial statements.
India is a growth market as well. In 2010, the company opened its 100th KFC store. Pizza Hut there already has 171 units.
Business is good, and Novak is getting the recognition he deserves. He received a 31 percent pay increase in 2010, with compensation worth nearly $12.6 million, according to data filed with regulators.
Shareholders can smile, too. The company's board of directors declared a dividend of 25 cents per share of common stock.
In September of last year, Yum increased its quarterly dividend 19 percent to an annual rate of $1 per share. It was the sixth consecutive annual increase since the quarterly dividend was initiated in 2004.
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