Yum posts loss

KFCUS fast food giant Yum Brands has reported a fourth quarter loss, saying its recovery in China from a tainted meat scandal is taking longer than it expected.

The parent of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell restaurant chains said it had a net loss of $US36 million ($A46.28 million) in the October/December quarter compared with a net income of $US321 million a year ago.

Adjusted earnings per share, a gauge closely watched by Wall Street, fell 29 per cent to 61 US cents.

The Louisville, Kentucky-based company said its earnings were affected by the July tainted meat scandal involving a former supplier, after a strong first half of the year.

“While the sales recovery in China continues to be slower than expected, we anticipate a strong second half of 2015 as the turnaround gains momentum, led by menu innovation across the year,” said Greg Creed, Yum’s CEO, in a statement.

“Our top priority is to recover sales in China and capture the significant profit leverage we have in this business,” Creed said.

Creed said the company, which has more than 4600 KFC restaurants and 1100 Pizza Hut restaurants in China, plans to open at least 700 new units in China.

Yum maintained its 2015 full year forecast of at least 10 per cent growth in earnings per share.

Worldwide sales in the fourth quarter grew three per cent, weighed down by an 11 per cent fall in the China division.

Fourth quarter revenues gained four per cent at nearly $US4 billion.

For all of 2014, Yum reported a 3.7 per cent fall in net income to $US1.05 billion.

Adjusted earnings of $US3.09 per share were up four per cent.

Revenues rose one per cent to $US13.28 billion.

Investors welcomed the results which were posted after the market closed.

Yum shares were up 1.4 per cent at $US74.69 in after hours trade.

AFP

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