Taco Bell Parents’ Profits Surpassed, Fueled by Strong KFC Demand

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Vehicles are lining up on the driveway of a Yum! Brands Inc. Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) and Taco Bell Restaurant in Lockport, Illinois, USA

Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Yum Brands on Thursday reported quarterly earnings and earnings above analysts’ expectations, fueled by strong demand for KFC’s fried chicken.

The company’s shares rose more than 1% in pre-market trading.

Here’s what the company reported compared to what Wall Street expected, based on a Refinitiv survey of analysts:

  • Earnings per share: $ 1.22 adjusted vs. $ 1.08 expected
  • Turnover: $ 1.61 billion against $ 1.59 billion expected
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The company reported third-quarter net income of $ 528 million, or $ 1.75 per share, from $ 283 million, or 92 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, Yum gained $ 1.22 per share, exceeding the $ 1.08 per share expected by analysts polled by Refinitiv.

Net sales rose 11% to $ 1.61 billion, beating expectations of $ 1.59 billion. In all of its banners, same-store sales increased by 5%. Wall Street expected same-store sales growth of 5.8%, according to StreetAccount estimates. The global spread of the delta variant of Covid has weakened demand for Yum’s pizza, chicken and tacos in some of its key markets.

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KFC’s same-store sales jumped 6% after falling 4% a year ago. While growth in China, its largest market, was subdued during the quarter, its home market saw same-store sales climb 4%. Over two years, same-store sales in the United States increased 13%.

Pizza Hut saw same store sales growth of 4% due to the recovery in international markets. In the United States, its same-store sales grew only 2% as they faced tough comparisons to a year ago. Over two years, Pizza Hut’s same-store sales in the United States were up 8%.

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Taco Bell’s same store sales increased 5% in the quarter and 8% year over year. The chain has struggled to recoup late-night and breakfast sales throughout the pandemic. The Mexican-inspired chain’s same-store sales missed Yum’s portfolio the most. StreetAccount estimates predict that the chain would see same-store sales growth of 6.2%.

Yum added 760 new net locations during the quarter, setting a record for the company.

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