Yum! Brands Inc.'s board of directors approved an 18-percent increase in the company's quarterly dividend. The quarterly cash dividend will increase from 28.5 cents to 33.5 cents per share and will be effective with the dividend payment to be distributed on Nov. 2, 2012 to shareholders of record at the close of business on Oct. 12, 2012.

This increase raises the annual dividend rate to $1.34 a share. The approval marks the eighth consecutive year Yum! Brands has raised its dividend at a double-digit percentage rate. The company's quarterly dividend has more than doubled throughout the past five years.

"Our first priority with the operating cash we generate is to invest in high-return global growth opportunities. In addition to investing in future growth, Yum!'s consistent performance and substantial free cash flow generation allows us to return significant cash to our shareholders through a meaningful quarterly dividend and share buybacks," said David C. Novak, chairman and CEO.

Yum! initiated its dividend in 2004, and is in a select group of companies from the S&P 500 to increase its dividend at a double-digit percentage rate each of the past eight years. Yum! continues to target a payout ratio of 35 to 40 percent of annual net income before special items.

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