Yum! Brands Inc.'s board of directors has approved a 10-percent increase in the company's quarterly dividend. The quarterly cash dividend will increase from $0.335 to $0.37 per share and will be effective with the dividend payment to be distributed on Nov. 1, to shareholders of record at the close of business on Oct. 11.

This increase raises the annual dividend rate to $1.48 per share. The increase marks the company's ninth consecutive year of double-digit dividend increases. Yum!'s quarterly dividend has nearly doubled throughout the past five years, according to a news release.

"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 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, CEO and chairman.

Yum! initiated its dividend in 2004.

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