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Yum China delivers better performance in Q1

YUM China Holdings Inc reported better-than-expected earnings in the first quarter thanks to a turnaround of performances at Pizza Hut.

The China unit of the US fast-food giant, which operates KFC, Pizza Hut and East Dawning, said earnings per share was US$0.44 while revenue fell 1.5 percent from a year ago to US$1.28 billion in the three months ended March 31, beating Reuters’ estimate of US$1.27 billion.

Same-store sales at KFC restaurants rose 1 percent while Pizza Hut's like-for-like income added 2 percent during the quarter, recovering from a 3 percent decline in the previous quarter.

Yum China started trading last October after it completed the spin-off from the US parent group. Shares rallied as much as 14 percent on Thursday on the NYSE following the upbeat earnings release.

"We are especially gratified with the progress made on two key drivers of growth: Digital and Delivery," Chief Executive Micky Pant said in a statement.

The restaurant chain remains on track to open 550 to 600 restaurants this year on top of more than 7,600 existing outlets in the country.


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