Yum China – which operates fast-food franchises including KFC and Pizza Hut in China – on Tuesday said that adjusted earnings per share came in well above expectations, although same-store sales were flat over the three-month period ending in December.
The company is reporting quarterly earnings for the first time since it began trading on the New York Stock Exchange as an independent company late last year following its spin-off from Yum Brands. It said that revenue for the fourth quarter was $1.98bn, just a hair under the $2.05bn that analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had expected. Adjusted earnings per share came in at 17 cents, a solid beat on the 10 cents Wall Street was forecasting.
The company said that operating profit for the quarter came in at $75m, after a $5m hit due to foreign currency translation as a strong US dollar continues to take a bite out of companies that operate globally.
Same-store sales were flat overall, with a 1 per cent increase at KFC being offset by a 3 per cent dip at Pizza Hut Casual Dining. Analysts had predicted a modest 1.6 per cent gain overall.
Also on Tuesday, Yum China announced it was authorising a $300m share repurchase programme, which it said will be bought “from time to time” both on the open market and in private transactions.
The company also said it had promoted Joey Wat to president and chief operating officer. Ms Wat was previously chief executive officer of Yum China’s KFC business.