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Easing pandemic curbs boost sales at Yum’s KFC, Pizza Hut chains

imageStock Markets56 minutes ago (Apr 28, 2021 08:00AM ET)

(C) Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A delivery staff member wearing a protective mask enters a KFC fast food outlet after a delivery in Colombo

(Reuters) -KFC and Pizza Hut owner Yum Brands Inc reported a stronger-than-expected 18% jump in revenue on Wednesday, as the reopening of the U.S. economy boosted demand in restaurants and online.

The roll-out of vaccines and the easing of dining room capacity restrictions in the United States have led to more people eating out after a year of ordering in, boosting sales at Yum’s restaurant chains as well as those of its rivals.

Warmer weather and fresh government stimulus checks have led to consumers spending more at restaurants, many of which are struggling to hire new workers fast enough to keep up with the jump in sales.

Sales from the company’s online business, which includes delivery and pick-up services, hit a record high of more than $5 billion in the quarter, Yum said.

Comparable sales of the company, which also owns Taco Bell, rose 9% in the first quarter ended March 31, beating estimates of an 8.6% increase, according to data from Refinitiv IBES.

U.S. same-store sales rose 14% for KFC and 16% for Pizza Hut in the quarter. Sales for both the brands in international markets gained at least 7%

Total revenue rose to $1.49 billion from $1.26 billion, above analysts’ estimate of $1.45 billion.

Net income rose nearly four-fold to $326 million, or $1.07 per share, topping estimates of 87 cents per share. The year-ago quarter included a $107 million charge related to the writedown of goodwill in the company’s Habit Burger Grill restaurants.

Easing pandemic curbs boost sales at Yum’s KFC, Pizza Hut chains

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