, China

Yum China's profit tops pre-COVID levels

The company added 315 new stores in the first three months of the year.

Yum China’s profit soared in the first quarter from a year earlier, even beating comparable figures from the first quarter of 2019.

Revenue in January to March jumped by 46% from a year earlier to US$2.56 billion from $1.75 billion a year earlier whilst net profit surged by 272% to US$233 million. Prior to the arrival of the pandemic, revenues were $2.3 billion and net profit was $222 million.

The company added 315 new stores in the first three months of the year. It opened 1,165 new stores in 2020, bringing its total to 10,506 across more than 1,500 cities.

“We remain optimistic about our long-term growth opportunity in China, which is reflected in our vigorous pace of investment,” Yum China CEO Joey Wat said in the statement.

Yum China previously said it aims to open 1,000 new stores in 2021, backed by a US$600 million capex plan and promotion of K coffee, Coffii&Joy and Lavazza. The company also said it will focus on digital service and growth in 700 cities where it does not have a presence.

Despite the first-quarter gains, the company said “the pandemic has introduced volatility and uncertainty to our operations,” and “expects a full recovery of same-store sales to pre-COVID-19 levels to take time.”

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