Pizza Slips and Breakfast Soars in Yum Brand's Latest Earnings Sales at KFC and Taco Bell boosted Yum Brands to a solid second quarter, while Pizza Hut struggled to keep up.
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Chicken and waffle tacos are hot items for fast-food conglomerate Yum Brands right now. Pizza? Not so much.
Yum Brands reported worldwide sales grew 6 percent in the second quarter, with operating profit increasing 34 percent. Net income climbed to $334 million -- a 19 percent jump from the same period last year.
Here come some more numbers: Strong performances by KFC and Taco Bell helped drive the company's earnings. Both brands increased same-store sales by 2 percent, resulting in a 5 percent sales increase for KFC and a 3 percent increase for Taco Bell.
Pizza Hut's quarter was less promising than those of its sister brands. Sales decreased by 1 percent, with a 3 percent same-store sales decline.
The success of KFC comes at a time when chicken has become a surprisingly buzzy item for fast-food restaurants, with chains from Pizza Hut to Burger King offering new chicken menu items. Meanwhile, Taco Bell's success reflects the first quarter that the chain's much-discussed breakfast menu has had a significant impact on sales.
"At Taco Bell, we're very pleased with the initial results of our national breakfast launch and have a strong new product pipeline across all day-parts to drive a strong second half," Yum Brands CEO David Novak said in a statement.
While the success of Taco Bell's breakfast is the most buzz-worthy news for American fast-food fans, Yum Brands' greatest success in the second quarter has been international. Sales increased 21 percent in the company's China division and 18 percent in India. In the second quarter, Yum Brands opened 104 new restaurants in China, with the goal of opening at least 700 new restaurants in the country this year.