Profits at Yum Brands, parent of Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and KFC, jumped 23% in its fiscal Q3, driven by improved U.S. performance for all three chains.
Taco Bell, which struggled in the U.S. last year, saw same-store sales rise 7% in the latest quarter.
The chain is building on the success of its Doritos Locos Tacos, launched earlier this year, by adding a cool ranch variety of the shells, and in July also introduced a more premium "Cantina Bell" menu, supported with a significant advertising campaign.
U.S. same-store sales for Pizza Hut and KFC rose 6% and 4%, respectively, in the latest quarter, reported The Wall Street Journal.
Worldwide, Yum reported a Q3 profit of $471 million or $1 a share, up from $383 million or 80 cents a share versus the year-earlier period. Profitability rose by 1.9 percentage pionts, to 18.9%. Revenue grew 9%, to $3.57 billion.
Yum raised its full-year guidance to EPS growth of 13%, versus its earlier 12% projection. -- Karlene Lukovitz