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Yum Brands

(YUM) - Get Yum! Brands, Inc. Report

, parent company of Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut, told shareholders on Thursday that it is confident in reaching its target earnings growth this year.

Chairman and Chief Executive David C. Novak said at the company's annual meeting that he is "bullish" about long-term prospects, and that Yum can meet its goal of 10% earnings-per-share growth in 2009.

The restaurateur saw strong operating profit growth in its rapidly expanding China and international divisions in 2008, which offset a drop in U.S. operating profit. The company's strategy includes building leading brands in its China operations, along with expanding elsewhere overseas and improving U.S. returns.

Last month, the company posted a 14% decline in first-quarter profit, citing the stronger dollar cutting into overseas profit.

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Shares of Yum were down 2% to $33.19 in afternoon trading.

On Wednesday, rival


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