Yum China on track to open 20,000 stores, serving 700 million Chinese

(Source: Bigstock)

Yum China CEO Joey Wat restated the company’s mid-term plan to have 20,000 stores across the country by 2026 at which point it will serve about 700 million people, or roughly half of the nation’s population.

“The China market will offer us ample white space for the foreseeable future. On top of the opportunity to serve more people is a favourable mix change, as Chinese consumers in lower-tier cities gradually upgrade their consumption,” Wat said in a letter to shareholders.

“As the largest restaurant company in China, we are uniquely positioned to capitalise on this trend. In fact, over half of our new stores have been in lower-tier cities in recent years. A good share of our future growth should come from the growing pool of consumers in such markets.”

After returning $833 million to investors through dividends and share repurchases last year – representing about 75 per cent of the company’s operating profit – Wat says Yum China plans to distribute a further $1.5 billion this year and at least $3 billion between now and 2026.

“Last year was a landmark year for Yum China, one of our strongest ever. Transitioning out of the pandemic, we were able not only to seize opportunities amid China’s reopening but also adapt quickly to the year’s challenges and sustain strong momentum.”

You have 7 articles remaining. Unlock 15 free articles a month, it’s free.