Yum China grew its sales by 19 per cent last year to US$9.85 billion despite multiple waves of Covid Delta outbreaks in the fourth quarter.
And the company closed the December financial year with net income up 26 per cent to $990 million.
Yum China’s growth followed a record rate of net new store openings last year, adding 1282 to take its network to 11,788. On a same-store basis, sales rose by just 1 per cent.
By channel, Pizza Hut sales rose by 14 per cent and KFC sales rose by 8 per cent, but on a same-store basis, they rose by 7 per cent in Pizza Hut and fell by 3 per cent at KFC.
The company said “fluid” Covid-19 conditions caused “significant volatilities” during the fourth quarter, with same-store sales beginning to recover in early October, then falling again the following month.
Subsequent to year-end, same-store sales in January have improved modestly, the company said.
“But compared with the comparable Chinese New Year holiday period in 2021, same-store sales were still down year on year. The situation remains volatile.”
At the peak of January’s outbreak, more than 500 stores were temporarily closed or offered only takeaway and delivery services, compared to nearly 300 stores in the fourth quarter.
“We have launched numerous campaigns to drive traffic and engage customers online and offline. We will also continue to adjust operations and promotional offers as the situation evolves,” the company said in a statement.