Yum! April Comps Up 4%

The restaurant operator reports strong results at KFC.
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said same-store sales at its U.S. restaurants jumped 4% in April, reflecting a strong performance at KFC.

The company also reiterated 2005 earnings guidance of $2.60 a share, slightly below the Thomson First Call consensus estimate of $2.63 a share.

By division, Yum! said, same-store sales rose 4% at Taco Bell, 1% at Pizza Hut and 7% at KFC. The jump at KFC reversed a 4% decline in same-store sales in April 2004.

In its international division, local currency same-store sales were up 6% in April from a year ago, and they rose 10% after translation. Same-store sales in China were down 5% from a year ago, reflecting bad publicity following the pulling of products at KFC due to a problem with a coloring ingredient.

"Sales recovery from the low point in the last week of

March has been slow but sure," the company said. "Currently, we expect

May system-sales growth to be flat versus last year and sales recovery to continue into the third quarter."

Shares were up $1.05, or 2.2%, to $49.19.