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Bird Flu And Unsafe Chicken Cause Yum! Brands' 29 Percent Sales Dive In April 2013

May 13, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Yum! Brands Inc., owner of the KFC fastfood chain, reported that same-store sales in China dropped 29 percent in April 2013. Concerns about the safety of KFC's chicken and the spread of bird flu in China prompted customers to stay away from KFC restaurants. KFC's efforts to offer localized dishes is working against KFC's brand, which is driven by the taste of its friend chicken and which is what made Chinese consumers fell in love with the restaurant chain in the first place. Also, KFC is feeling the pressure from U.S.-based competitors McDonald's Corp. and Burger King Worldwide Inc., which are expanding their China operations. Reports about high levels of antibiotics contained by locally sourced chicken also harmed KFC's sales and profit, which Yum forecast to decline by mid-single digit rate in 2013. In contrast, net income increased 21 percent to $1.6 billion in 2012.
Liza Lin, Leslie Patton , "Yum’s 29% Sales Collapse in China Goes Beyond Avian Flu", Bloomberg News, May 13, 2013, © Bloomberg L. P.
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