Yum Brands Inc (YUM.N), which is spinning off its China business, reported sales at established restaurants rose more than expected in the fourth quarter, helped by strong sales at KFC China.
Yum's global sales at established restaurants open for more than a year jumped 6 percent in the quarter ended Dec. 26. Sales at established restaurants in China rose 7 percent, with KFC China's same-store sales increasing 6 percent.
Analysts on average were expecting Yum's global sales at established restaurants to rise 1.80 percent and sales in Chine to increase 1.9 percent, according to research firm Consensus Metrix.
Yum had said in October it plans to spin off its dominant China business, which has been besieged by food scandals and marketing missteps, amid pressure from an activist shareholder who recently joined its board of directors.
"We are on track to complete the spin-off of our China Division," Chief Executive Greg Creed said.
The company reported a net income of $275 million, or 63 cents per share, in the latest quarter, compared with a loss of $86 million, or 20 cents per share, a year earlier.
Excluding items, Yum earned 68 per share, beating analysts' estimates of 66 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Total revenue fell 1.2 percent to $3.95 billion, missing analysts' expectations of $4.02 billion.
(Reporting by Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)
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