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Food scare bites 20% off Yum's sales

(Shanghai Daily)

08:48, March 13, 2013

YUM Brands Inc has said its sales in China slid 20 percent in January and February following a food scare over its chicken suppliers. But the drop wasn't as bad as feared.

The owner of KFC and Taco Bell had forecast a 25 percent decline for the two months for sales at restaurants open at least a year. It also warned at the time that its overall profit for 2013 would drop due to the scandal, ending an 11-year run of double-digit profit growth.

With 5,300 restaurants in the country, Kentucky-based Yum is the biggest Western fast-food operator in China. KFC accounts for most the locations.

Yum's sales figure gained 2 percent in February, helped by the timing of Chinese New Year. The holiday's timing hurt January's sales, however, ultimately having a neutral impact on results for the two months.

January and February make up Yum's first quarter in China.

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