Yum Brands Cuts Profit Forecast Again on Slow China Recovery

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Yum Brands Inc (YUM) lowered its profit forecast for the year for the second time, hurt by slower-than-expected sales recovery in China following a food safety scare in July.

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Shares of the company, which operates Pizza Hut and KFC restaurant chains, fell 6.5 percent in extended trading.

The company said it expects full-year profit growth to be in "mid-single-digit" percentage.

It had earlier cut the forecast to 6-10 percent from at least 20 percent.

A television report early July showing improper meat handling by supplier Shanghai Husi Food scared away customers in China, Yum's biggest market by sales.

U.S.-based fast-food chains McDonald's Corp and Burger King Worldwide Inc and coffee chain Starbucks Corp also landed into controversy as they procured meat from Shanghai Husi.

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Food safety is a highly emotive issue in China where there have been numerous scandals from photos of food oil being scooped from drains to tales of phony eggs and melamine-tainted milk powder.

Yum said on Tuesday it expects 2015 profit to grow by at least 10 percent, while expecting operating profit in the China division to grow by at least 15 percent.

The company's shares closed at $75.22 on Tuesday, on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting By Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Joyjeet Das)