Tricon Global

(YUM) - Get Report

beat first-quarter earnings estimates and raised guidance for the full year as the fast-food restaurant operator enjoyed brisk overseas growth.

Tricon reported first-quarter net income of $124 million, or 80 cents a share, compared with $88 million, or 59 cents, a year earlier. Analysts on average were expecting earnings of 77 cents a share, according to First Call.

For 2002, the company forecast earnings of 83 cents to 87 cents a share for the second quarter, and $3.63 to $3.70 a share for 2002. Analysts had expected the company to earn 81 cents for the second quarter and $3.63 a share for the year.

International restaurant growth rose 7% in the first quarter but it fell 1% in the U.S. Growth was 35% in China, 15% in Mexico and 15% in South Korea. Restaurant margins increased 1.9 percentage points in the United States, buoyed by a 5% rise in same-restaurant sales. System sales, which encompass company-operated and franchised restaurants, rose 5% to $5.24 billion. In addition, Tricon estimates that April same-store sales rose 2% in the U.S. , with a 9% gain at Taco Bell, 1% advance at KFC and 3% decline at Pizza Hut. The company added international sales jumped 12%.