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(Adds details on Yum Brands strategy, share movement)
Aug 1 (Reuters) - Yum Brands Inc beat analysts' expectations for quarterly profit and sales on Thursday, as the restaurant chain operator benefited from better-than-expected growth at all its restaurant chains, including Pizza Hut, sending its shares up 4%.
U.S. restaurant chains, including Yum, are trying to keep up in a tough restaurant industry by revamping menus to include fresher ingredients in popular items, while also dishing out value meals.
Yum's Mexican-inspired quick-service restaurant chain, Taco Bell, offers value-oriented taco and burrito meals that are priced as low as $3, While KFC rolled out a vegan version of its classic chicken burger at some outlets in the UK.
Yum has also picked up a stake in GrubHub Inc and bought online ordering software company QuikOrder to boost delivery speed and compete better in a crowded restaurant industry.
Taco Bell's same-store sales grew 7%, well above expectations of a 3.75% growth; while KFC grew 6%, topping estimates of a 3.68% rise, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Pizza Hut, a weak spot for the company in the past few years, grew for the first time in five quarters, posting a better-than-expected 2% rise in same-store sales. Overall, the company's sales from restaurants open at least a year rose 5%, beating Wall Street expectations.
"Second-quarter results maintained early year momentum and helped us to exceed our already high expectations for a strong first half of 2019," Chief Executive Officer Greg Creed said in a statement.
Excluding items, the company earned 93 cents per share in the second quarter ended June 30, trouncing expectations by 6 cents.
Yum's total revenue fell 4% to $1.31 billion, hurt by the company's move to refranchise its restaurants which replaces sales with royalty fees. Analysts were expecting total revenue of $1.28 billion.
Shares of the Louisville, Kentucky-based company rose 4.3% to $117.4, adding to its gains of 22% so far this year. (Reporting by Nivedita Balu and Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr and Anil D'Silva)