Taco Bell may still be having a rough time at home, but its parent, Yum Brands Inc., is riding high — and it has China to thank.
Yum, which also owns Pizza Hut and KFC, reported a 30% jump in fourth-quarter net income largely because of explosive growth abroad. The Louisville, Ky., company said it earned $356 million in the period, compared with $274 million a year earlier.
Revenue was up 15% to $4.1 billion for the quarter.
Net income for the year that ended Dec. 31 rose 14% to $1.3 billion. Revenue for 2011 increased 11% to $12.6 billion.
In China, where Yum has made a concerted effort to expand this year, same-store sales for 2011 grew 19%. In the U.S. by contrast, same-store sales, a key measure of retail health, fell 1%. The company's chains opened a record 656 restaurants in the Asian country over the year.