LOS ANGELES – KFC, Taco Bell (search) and Pizza Hut parent Yum Brands Inc. (YUM) Wednesday posted higher quarterly earnings and backed its outlook for the year despite a supply-chain issue in China that is hurting profits in that market.
Net income for the first quarter rose to $161 million, or 53 cents per share, from $142 million, or 47 cents per share, a year ago.
Wall Street analysts, on average, had expected earnings of 52 cents per share, according to Reuters Estimates.
Yum, which also owns the A&W (search) and Long John Silver's (search) fast-food chains, affirmed its second-quarter earnings forecast of 56 cents a share, a penny below Wall Street's average estimate of 57 cents a share, according to Reuters Estimates.
For the full year, Yum expects to earn at least $2.60 a share. Analysts had been expecting earnings of about $2.63 a share.
Yum's rapidly-growing business in China, which has been a major driver of the company's earnings increases in recent years, is expected to post a decline in operating profit in the second quarter, the company said.
It cited a "supplier ingredient issue" last month that hurt sales at its KFC (search) restaurants in mainland China.
The impact is expected to be short-term and sales are expected to recover later in the second quarter or in the following quarter. Sales at Yum's Chinese restaurants open at least a year, or same-store sales, are expected to drop 5 percent in April.
The division's operating profit is forecast to be between $20 million and $25 million below the company's previous estimates.