• U.S. second-quarter sales off 3% at Pizza Hut

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM) reported that U.S. same-store sales at its Pizza Hut chain dropped 1 percent during period six (the four weeks ended June 15) and 3 percent for the second quarter (the three months ended June 15).

The first six months of 2002 have been a rollercoaster ride for Pizza Hut. After posting flat sales in January, February comps leaped 6 percent. A flat March performance capped off a first quarter rise of 2 percent, but was followed by a 4 percent same-store sales drop in period five (from April 15 to May 15).

On May 13, the company launched a nationwide advertising campaign titled, "Where'd the cheese go?" to promote its Insider pizza. However, sales dropped during the ad's first week, and it was replaced by a scaled-down spot.

Overall, Yum's corporate performance was much better both for the period and the quarter. In period six, U.S. blended same-store sales at company restaurants increased 5 percent (up 8 percent at Taco Bell and 7 percent at KFC), and estimated international system sales increased 4 percent after conversion to U.S. dollars.

Second-quarter estimated U.S. blended same-store sales at company restaurants increased 3 percent (up 8 percent at Taco Bell and 3 percent at KFC), and estimated international system sales rose 7 percent after conversion to U.S. dollars.

The company's performance does not reflect sales at its recently acquired chains, Long John Sliver's and A&W All American Foods.

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