LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Sales at Pizza Hut's U.S. corporate stores rose 5 percent in October, according to report released by Yum! Brands, which owns Pizza Hut.

Yum did not include Pizza Hut franchised store performance in its report.

The increase marks a surprising change for Pizza Hut, which has struggled with flat to negative domestic comparable-store sales throughout 2002. During the period it introduced its Chicago Dish pizza, which likely fueled the sales increase.

Papa John's, the world's third-largest pizza chain, reported a 3.8 percent drop in sales for October (See "Papa John's bets on long-term initiatives to counter sales slump"), while Domino's Pizza and Little Caesars, numbers two and four respectively, are privately held and did not reported October sales.

Overall sales at Yum, which also owns Taco Bell and KFC, declined 1 percent for the period. Sales at Taco Bell grew just 1 percent, while sales at KFC slid 7 percent.

In a recent investor conference call, Yum cited Papa John's and Domino's August introductions of chicken side items (See "Papa John's launches 'Chickenstrips' nationwide" and "Domino's enters 'chicken fight' with own boneless appetizer") as impacting KFC's sales negatively.

Yum's overall international sales fared much better for the period, rising 6 percent after conversion to U.S. dollars.

Yum also owns Long John Silver's and A&W All American Food chains, but did not include those companies' sales in its report since the chains were acquired just this past spring.

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