Tricon Global Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:YUM) announced the opening of its 400th KFC restaurant in China by its international division, Tricon Restaurants International (TRI). KFC is the leading quick-service restaurant chain in China with locations in more than 100 cities. KFC is also the most popular international brand throughout China, according to a consumer survey conducted by ACNielsen.

The KFC grand opening in Shanghai was celebrated with a traditional “Lion Dance” to bring good fortune and was officiated by J. Samuel Su, president of TRI China.

The new restaurant is significant because it builds on KFC’s 5,800 international units as well as TRI’s 10,000th restaurant opening that occurred in the third quarter.

“We’re capitalizing on the strong brand leadership position KFC commands around the world,” said Pete Bassi, president of TRI based in Dallas, Texas. “Our tremendous unit growth underscores Tricon’s commitment as a truly global powerhouse,” Bassi added.

TRI has restaurants in over 100 countries and territories with system sales of $7.3 billion in 1999. In addition to KFC, TRI has more than 4,000 Pizza Hut locations outside the U.S. including 40 in China. TRI’s growth has been fueled by significant openings in key strategic markets including China, Japan, Korea, Mexico and the U.K. among others.

TRI expects to open at least 800 new international restaurants this year. The Company will accelerate openings next year to at least 850 new restaurants outside the U.S. primarily through its two global brands, KFC and Pizza Hut. This translates to more than one new restaurant every twelve hours, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

In addition to system unit development, TRI continues to deliver growth through strong system sales. Year-to-date through the third quarter, Tricon’s international system sales were up 8%.

In 2000, TRI expects to generate 30% of Tricon’s overall ongoing operating profit to over $300 million, making it the largest division within the Tricon system. Year-to-date through the third quarter, TRI’s ongoing operating profit was up 17%.

Bassi summarized, “We have the management, infrastructure, processes and resources in place to grow our international business for the long term.”

A 1999 study conducted by ACNielsen Media International, an operating unit of ACNielsen, found KFC to be the most popular international brand with Chinese consumers. The study was conducted among 44,000 consumers across 30 Chinese cities.

Tricon Global Restaurants, Inc., based in Louisville, KY is the world’s largest restaurant owner with over 30,000 company-owned and franchised and licensed restaurants in over 100 countries and territories. The company’s brands—KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell—are the global leaders of the chicken, pizza and Mexican-style restaurant categories, respectively. KFC has over 11,000 restaurants around the world serving approximately 49 million customers every week. Total worldwide system sales for the brands were nearly $22 billion in 1999.

News, Tricon