Yum's China Sales Jump Ahead of Spinoff

KFC China

Yum Brands Inc's sales at established restaurants in China accelerated faster than Wall Street expected in the first quarter as the company pursues a spinoff of that business, its top profit-driver.

Share rose 3.8 percent in after-hours trade to $85.67.

Sales at China restaurants open at least one year rose 6 percent in the first quarter, Yum said on Wednesday, as it reported first-quarter results.

Sales had risen 2 percent for both the third and fourth quarters of last year, and analysts polled by research firm Consensus Metrix had expected Yum to report a 2.1 percent gain for the China region, where it is the biggest Western restaurant brand.

The owner of the KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell brands also said that the separation of the China business was on track for completion by year-end.

(Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles and Peter Henderson in San Francisco; Editing by Matthew Lewis)