LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Strong results from KFC and Taco Bell lifted Yum! Brands Inc. to better-than-expected results for the third quarter of 2018.
Same-store sales at KFC climbed 3 percent, while Taco Bell reported same-store sales growth of 5 percent. Pizza Hut lagged behind its sister brands with same-store sales slipping 1 percent for the quarter.
“We are pleased to deliver third-quarter system sales growth of 5 percent, consisting of same store sales growth of 2 percent and net new unit growth of 4 percent,” said CEO Greg Creed. “Core operating profit growth of 2 percent was consistent with our expectations. We are now two years into our three-year transformation and remain firmly on-track to becoming more focused, more franchised and more efficient. The collective power of our three iconic brands, anchored by our four key growth drivers, is helping us deliver long-term sustainable growth and higher returns for our stakeholders.”
Overall, Yum reported total revenues of $1,391 million for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, down 3 percent from $1,436 million reported in the third quarter of 2017.
Net income for the quarter was $454 million, or $1.40 per diluted share, compared with $418 million, or $1.18 per diluted share reported in the year-ago period.
Excluding special items, the company reported earnings per share of $1.04 in the third quarter, compared with $0.68 per share a year ago.
Shares of the company jumped nearly 5 percent on Oct. 31.