Pizza Hut, KFC, Taco Bell sales bounce as restrictions ease
Pizza Hut, KFC, Taco Bell sales bounce as restrictions ease

Profit for the company that runs Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and KFC restaurants more than tripled during the first quarter and same-store sales surged as coronavirus restrictions began to lift this year.

Yum Brands earned USD 326 million, or USD 1.07 per share, for the period ended March 31, which last year was marked by exploding COVID-19 infections in the U.S. In that three-month stretch last year, the company's profit fell to USD 83 million, compared with USD 262 million in the same three months in 2019.

So the bounce back for the company's restaurants was better than pre-pandemic levels. Wall Street analysts had projected per-share earnings of 85 cents this quarter, according to a survey by Zacks Investment Research, which Yum beat by 22 cents.

Revenue jumped 18% to $1.49 billion, also beating expectations.

Sales at stores open at least a year, a key gauge of a restaurant operator's health, climbed 9%. KFC's same-store sales increased 14% in the U.S., while Pizza Hut's grew 16%. Those results were double its performances overseas.

Shares rose more than 1% before the opening bell Wednesday.

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Free Press Journal