• Tricon posts ''yummy' first-quarter earnings

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Tricon Global Restaurants, Inc., (NYSE:YUM) the operator of Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell chains, reported first-quarter 2002 net income of $124 million, or 80 cents a share, up 41 percent from last year. First quarter '01 net income was $88 million, or 59 cents a share.

Revenue for the quarter was $1.61 billion, up 7 percent from $1.5 billion posted in the same period last year. Combined domestic and international sales were up 5 percent to $5.24 billion, compared to $4.98 billion in '01.

Blended same-store sales for all three brands increased 5 percent for the quarter; Pizza Hut's same-store sales were up 2 percent

Tricon now expects '02 earnings per share to be $3.63 to $3.70, up from its earlier estimates of $3.56 to $3.63.

Those new earnings estimates, however, don't include the impact of Tricon's purchase of A&W and Long John Silver's Seafood from Yorkshire Global Brands. The $320 million deal ($270 million in cash and the assumption of $50 million in Yorkshire debt) will be completed later this year and bring 2,195 restaurants into the Tricon fold. It currently operates more than 30,000 outlets worldwide.

Speculation circulated in April that Tricon might acquire Burger King, but Tricon CEO, David Novak, told The Wall Street Journal that his company never bid for the burger company. Owned by London-based distilled beverage giant Diaego, PLC, Burger King has been up for sale for about three months. Initial bidding ended on April 26.

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