LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Strong international sales increases at Pizza Hut and KFC boosted second-quarter profits at Yum Brands Inc. (NYSE:YUM).
Profits for the 12-week period ending June 15 jumped 21 percent on net earnings of $140 million (45 cents per diluted share), compared with $116 million (38 cents per diluted share) in the same period last year.
Systemwide revenues increased 10 percent to $1.76 billion, up from $1.6 billion. The increase was fueled by an 18-percent rise in sales at YUM's 6,500 KFC and 4,300 Pizza Hut stores outside the U.S.
During an investor Web cast, chairman and chief executive David Novak said he expects the company will reverse a first-quarter 3-percent decline at company-owned domestic Pizza Hut stores by the end of the year.
Mass-media promotion of its Insider Pizza, which began in June, failed to give the company the sales kick-start it desired.
Novak also revealed that YUM has signed a licensing agreement with Pasta Bravo, a 15-store Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based quick-service chain. The agreement will allow the test of pasta sales at some Pizza Hut stores during the fourth quarter 2002.
The privately owned chain has stores in Orange and San Diego Counties, and sells made-to-order pasta dishes, gourmet pizzas and salads.