Yum! Brands, the owner of fast food chains KFC and Pizza Hut, says its profit fell 68 percent in the third quarter, as its China sales slumped following controversy over its chicken supply and bird flu scare.
Yum! said it made a net profit of $152 million in the three months to 7 September, with sales in China, one of its biggest markets, falling 11 percent from a year ago.
"China division third quarter sales and profits were impacted by adverse publicity surrounding the December poultry supply incident and subsequent news of Avian flu," the company said.
Chief executive David Novak said, "Despite the disappointing third quarter performance, I remain as confident as ever in our ability to deliver strong, sustainable growth in the years to come.
"Even with our recent challenges, KFC is unquestionably the category leader in China and we remain confident sales will fully recover.
"As evidence of this, we expect to open at least 700 new units in China this year, as we capitalise on the world's fastest growing consuming class."
Outside of China, Yum! expects record new-unit openings for "Yum! Restaurants International and in India this year," Novak said.
"When you add it all up for Yum! we will open at least 1,850 new restaurants outside the U.S., further strengthening our leadership position in emerging markets. In addition, we will have net new-unit growth in the U.S. for the second consecutive year."
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