'KFC China needs more time to recover'
LOS ANGELES: Yum Brands Inc's chief executive said on Wednesday the company still must fully convince diners in its top market of China that food at its KFC restaurants is safe, following a pair of safety scares, and predicts 2014 would be a "strong bounce back year".
Shares in Yum tumbled 7.8 per cent to US$65.75 (RM210.40) on the New York Stock exchange on Wednesday.
Yum's sales at restaurants in China have taken a beating since chemical residues were found in chicken from some of its poultry suppliers late last year. That was followed by a bird flu outbreak in China this spring.
On Tuesday, the company said Yum's China same restaurant sales fell 11 per cent in the third quarter, and 11 per cent in September, the first month of the China divisions' fourth quarter, and that it will take longer than expected for those sales to rebound.
Yum is the biggest American restaurant operator in China and that market accounts for more than half of its operating profit.
Up until this year, Yum's stock was considered a popular way to invest in China - the world's fastest-growing major economy. Reuters