In Focus
LEGAL | Staff Reporter, China

KFC gives wings to Yum China's growth in Q4

The company plans to open 600 to 650 outlets during FY 2019.

Yum China has announced their FY 2018 results, with total revenues having increased 8% year-over-year (YoY) to US$8.42 billion from US$7.77 billion.

Total system sales grew 5% YoY up, with a 7% growth at KFC partially offset by a 1% decline at Pizza Hut. Net income rose by 78% to US$708 million from US$398 million in the prior year.

The company says KFC drove the opening of 257 new restaurants in the fourth quarter and 819 new restaurants for the full year 2018.

Their fourth quarter, meanwhile, ended with a 2% YoY sales increase to $1.91 billion. Mobile payments and digital payments accounted for 65% and 85% of the quarter’s sales respectively. They also reported that KFC’s loyalty program now has over 160 million members whilst Pizza Hut has 50 million.

Their delivery category has also contributed 19% of their fourth quarter sales as well, which represents an increase of 3% YoY. Yum! China is now delivering across 1,118 cities in China.

"We achieved a 6% increase in system sales in constant currency during the fourth quarter, marking our ninth consecutive quarter of system sales growth since the spin-off," Joey Wat, CEO of Yum China, said. "While the macro backdrop is relatively soft, with our resilient business model and leadership in digital and delivery, we are confident that we have the right strategy and capabilities to maintain our growth trajectory and capitalize on the long-term potential of the China market."

The company expressed plans to open 600 to 650 outlets during the financial year of 2019 and have capital expenditures between US$450 million and US$500 million. Wat promised that they will apply all that they have learned in the past year for 2019.

“We see 2019 is a year of uncertainties, but we also understand customer actually look for value with great product,” Wat said in a conference call.

“In the long term, China is still a very attractive market with over 6% GDP growth and we are committed to China. We are well-positioned to stay competitive and maintain the leadership position in China."

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