NEW YORK (Reuters) - Yum Brands Inc <YUM.N>, the parent of the KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut fast-food chains, reported higher-than-expected quarterly sales, boosted by growth in China, helping to send its shares up 4.9 percent in after-hours
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Yum, based in Louisville, Kentucky, said sales rose 13 percent at existing restaurants in China. It also opened 92 new restaurants in China, which has the world's biggest population.
Same-store sales in the United States fell 1 percent after negative press about following a lawsuit regarding the beef used at Taco Bell. The lawsuit was later dropped.
Net income was $264 million, or 54 cents per share, in the first quarter, ended on March 19, compared with $241 million, or 50 cents per share, a year earlier.
Excluding special items, profit was 63 cents per share. Analysts on average were expecting 64 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue was $2.43 billion, compared to $2.35 billion a year earlier and analysts' estimates of $2.40 billion.
The company affirmed its previous 2011 earnings growth target of "at least 10 percent," excluding special items, which translated to $2.78 per share.
Yum shares rose 4.9 percent to $54.07 in after-hours trading from their close at $51.55 on the New York Stock Exchange.
(Reporting by Martinne Geller; editing by Andre Grenon)