Foodservice Equipment Reports

Yum! Plans To Triple India Units, Scores Big In China

With its corporate parent riding high after a strong third quarter, Yum! Restaurants India has announced plans to more than triple the number of eateries it operates across India to 1,000 by 2015. Niren Chaudhary, managing director for the division, announced the $100 million rollout to reporters at the India Economic Summit earlier this month. Chaudhary said that half of the stores would be KFCs units. Yum! Restaurants India currently operates about 300 restaurants, nearly all Pizza Hut and KFC units. The first Taco Bell opened last March in Bangalore.

"We have aggressive plans to increase the number of Taco Bell restaurants across India. We are opening two new outlets in Bangalore by the end of this month and have plans to have about five more restaurants next year," Chaudhary told reporters.

Overseas is where the growth is mostly coming from for the Louisville, Ky.-based Yum! Brands. The company expects to open about 1,400 international new units this year. Spurred by new-unit development in India, China and emerging markets, Yum! reported a 14% rise in operating profit for the third quarter. Looking at the fine print, U.S. sales were down 2% for the third-quarter ending Sept. 4, while operating profit in China was up 23%—a  combination of high-return new unit development, same-store-sales growth, and increasing margins. The China division opened 90 new restaurants in the quarter, and 245 year-to-date. The Dallas-based international division, which oversees all the company international units other than those in China, is also having a healthy year. Emerging markets reported 9% system sales growth; 34 of the year’s 194 new unit openings were in these newer markets, including 21 debut stores in France, India and Russia.

Yum! also continues refranchising a substantial number of its U.S. stores, principally Pizza Hut and KFC. Year-to-date, Yum! has sold 98 restaurants. Since beginning the program in late ’07, it has sold more than 1,300 units and expects to complete the effort next year. YRI has been refranchising all of its company-owned restaurants in Mexico, including 224 KFCs and 123 Pizza Huts. The buyer, an existing Latin American franchise partner, will serve as master franchisor for the Mexico market.

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