LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Reflecting its ongoing struggle to increase comparable-store sales, Pizza Hut reported that sales at its U.S. corporate units dropped 4 percent during the first quarter of 2003, and 2 percent during its third period. Both accounting periods ended March 22.

According to a company release, in last year's first quarter, sales rose 2 percent, but were flat for period three.

Pizza Hut's parent, Yum! Brands, reported strong blended international system (Pizza Hut and KFC brands) sales growth of 17 percent for period three, and 14 percent for its first quarter.

In related news, Yum CEO David Novak saw his 2002 bonus rise to $2.6 million, exactly double his 2001 award. According to an SEC proxy filing, Novak's 2002 base pay was $996,154.

Additionally, Novak received options for 401,348 shares (currently worth about $4 million) of Yum's common stock last year.

He also got nearly $570,000 in what the company termed "annual compensation" and "all other compensation" for 2002. According to the filing, annual compensation includes perks such as use of the company's aircraft and a car allowance, while all other compensation includes preferential earnings on deferred compensation.

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