KFC owner Yum Brands Inc beat Wall Street estimates for quarterly revenue and profit on Thursday, as steady demand for its fried chicken and tacos cushioned the blow from a slowdown in sales in its Pizza Hut chain.
The company benefited from customers returning to its restaurants following the roll-out of vaccinations, even as rising concerns over the Delta variant of the coronavirus kept consumers away from its stores in some key markets.
Rival fast-food chains Chipotle Mexican Grill and McDonald's have also delivered a strong beat in the quarter, aided by the reopening of seating areas in their restaurants and product price hikes.
However, Yum Brands' Pizza Hut division saw its U.S. system-wide sales drop 2% in the quarter, as pizza chains grapple with a slowdown in delivery demand following a surge during last year's lockdowns.
Earlier this month, rival Domino's Pizza Inc posted its first drop in U.S. same-store sales in over a decade as it also faced a tight labor market that created a shortage of drivers.
Comparable sales for Yum Brands jumped 5% in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, missing the average estimate of a 6.5% increase, according to Refinitiv IBES.
The Taco Bell owner still reported an adjusted profit of $1.22 per share on revenue of $1.61 billion, beating estimates of earnings of $1.08 per share on revenue of $1.59 billion.
(Reporting by Deborah Sophia in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber) ((DeborahMary.Sophia@thomsonreuters.com;))