LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Yum! Brands Inc., which owns the KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell brands, announced an 18 percent increase in the company’s quarterly dividend.

The quarterly cash dividend will increase from $0.285 to $0.335 per share. The dividend payment will 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 per share.

"I am pleased to inform our shareholders we increased our dividend by 18 percent, marking the eighth consecutive year we have raised our dividend at a double-digit percentage rate," said David C. Novak, chairman and chief executive officer. "Our quarterly dividend has more than doubled over the last five years.

“Our first priority with the operating cash we generate is to invest in high-return global growth opportunities," Novak added. "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.”