Business

Yum's 4th-quarter profits up 27 percent

Last year was "perhaps our best year as a public company," said David C. Novak, CEO of Yum Brands, the Louisville-based company that operates KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut.
Last year was "perhaps our best year as a public company," said David C. Novak, CEO of Yum Brands, the Louisville-based company that operates KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut. AP

LOUISVILLE — Yum Brands, owner of the Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and KFC fast-food brands, said Wednesday its fourth-quarter net income rose 27 percent with robust growth overseas.

The company's operating profit in the United States, where it has struggled as recession-weary consumers remain at home more often to eat, rose 15 percent. And Pizza Hut's sales at U.S. restaurants open at least a year — a key barometer for restaurant performance — rose 10 percent. The figure also rose for Taco Bell and KFC.

Yum reported net income of $274 million for the fourth quarter, or 56 cents per share. That compares with $216 million, or 45 cents per share, a year earlier.

The Louisville-based company's fourth-quarter revenue was $3.56 billion, up from $3.37 billion.

For the full year, the company reported net income of nearly $1.16 billion, or $2.38 per share, compared with $1.07 billion, or $2.22 per share, in 2009. Its revenue was $11.34 billion, up from $10.84 billion in 2009.

Chairman and CEO David C. Novak said 2010 was "perhaps our best year as a public company."

"As we enter 2011, we know that we face commodity inflation and a global economy that is still recovering," he said in a statement.

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