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Yum China sales, profit soar on fewer store closures

Yum China says sales surged 46 per cent in the first quarter to US$2.56 billion as life in China began to return to normal after the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Same-store sales were up, new stores contributed and there were “substantially fewer” temporary store closures this year. 

The company achieved a restaurant margin of 18.7 per cent compared with 10.7 per cent the prior year period, which helped boost operating profit by 250 per cent year on year to $342 million. Adjusted net Income rose by 271 per cent from $63 million in the same period last year to $233 million. 

“First quarter sales were impacted by regional resurgence of Covid-19 before the Chinese New Year and tightened public health measures across China,” the company said in a statement. “The tightened measures and associated consumer caution resulted in smaller gatherings and a noticeably reduced volume of travel.

“Dine-in traffic, as well as sales at our transportation locations, remains well below 2019 levels.”  

Sales at KFC rose by 24 per cent and at Pizza Hut by 57 per cent, excluding foreign exchange adjustments. Same-store sales increased 10 per cent year on year, with increases of 5 per cent at KFC and 38 per cent at Pizza Hut. 

Yum China opened 315 new stores during the three months to March 31, taking its network count to 10,725. 

Yum China said it expects a full recovery of same-store sales to pre-Covid-19 levels to take time, and the recovery to be uneven across the country. 

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