, China

Yum China expands share repurchase plan

The company earlier said it might delist from the New York Stock Exchange by 2024.

Yum China said its board had raised the restaurant operator’s share repurchase plan by US$1 billion to US$2.4 billion.

“To date, we have returned approximately $1.7 billion of capital to shareholders in the form of cash dividends and share repurchases. Despite the significant impact from COVID-19 in 2021 and stepped-up capital investments to drive organic growth, we generated operating cash flow of $1.1 billion and free cash flow of $442 million," chief executive Joey Wat said in an announcement.

The company, which operates KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell in China, earlier said it might delist from the New York Stock Exchange by 2024 after U.S. authorities said it had failed to provide access to audit documents.

The operator said it has bought back 4 million shares for $188 million so far this quarter.

Same-store sales in China fell 20% from a year earlier for the first two weeks of March after falling nearly 4% for January and February combined, citing Omicron-related curbs.

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