(Bloomberg) -- Yum China Holdings Inc. is making some progress on Pizza Hut -- but growth still trailed analysts’ projections. KFC, meanwhile, remains strong, according to the company’s latest quarterly filing.

  • Same-store sales rose 2% in the third quarter, compared with the 2.3% growth seen by analysts, according to Consensus Metrix. The same measure at Pizza Hut gained 1%, slightly trailing estimates, while KFC outperformed.

Key Insights

  • Fast-food competition is getting tough in China, with Western and local brands rushing to provide digital and delivery services. Tim Hortons, Burger King and Popeyes are expanding quickly to boost sales for parent Restaurant Brands International Inc. Nonetheless, Chief Executive Officer Joey Wat said the company remains “cautiously optimistic” because of China’s opportunities for growth.
  • Pizza Hut’s dine-in model has struggled to attract consumers in a space increasingly dominated by to-go options. The chain has tried to improve its menu and expand delivery. The company said margin declined due to investment to revitalize restaurants.
  • Yum China said chicken and labor costs remain under pressure.

Market Reaction

  • Shares of Yum China fell as much as 6.1% in late trading in New York before paring some of the loss. They had climbed 32% this year through Tuesday’s close.
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To contact the reporter on this story: Leslie Patton in Chicago at lpatton5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Anne Riley Moffat at ariley17@bloomberg.net, Jonathan Roeder, Lisa Wolfson

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