NEW YORK – Louisville, Ky. based-Yum Brands Inc., parent company of Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, plans to sell hundreds of its restaurants to franchisees in order to insulate itself from market volatility. The company plans to focus on expanding in emerging markets, according to a report from Dow Jones.
The company said it will reinvest the money from the sales in building new restaurants in emerging economies such as China and India. Same-store sales in China grew 14 percent in the first quarter of 2012, according to the company’s earnings statement. Also, Yum opened 168 new units in China, a first-quarter record. Yum Restaurants India grew system sales 34 percent, and the company expects to open 100 new restaurants in 2012. The company opened 250 new restaurants in emerging markets. Total international development was 297 new restaurants.
Yum plans to reduce its ownership of Taco Bell restaurants to 16 percent from 22 percent, and its Pizza Hut and KFC stakes to 5 percent from 7 percent and 9 percent, respectively, according to Dow Jones.