Yum Brands Inc., which operates fast-food restaurant brands KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, on Monday said U.S. same-store sales grew 6 percent for the period ended Oct. 29, at locations open at least one year, the Associated Press reports today.

The company said international sales increased 4 percent before currency conversion, or 7 percent after conversion to U.S. dollars, for the period ended Oct. 3. Sales in its China division climbed 8 percent before conversion, or 10 percent after conversion, for the period ended Oct. 31.

Yum’s China division includes mainland China, Thailand, and KFC Taiwan, while the international group includes all operations outside the United States, except for the China division.

“Driven by the momentum from the continued expansion of our China and international division, and strong U.S. same-store-sales growth, we expect to build on this year’s forecasted 12 percent earnings per share growth with another year of at least 10 percent EPS growth in 2006,” said David C. Novak, chairman and chief executive, in a statement. “This would be our fifth straight year of meeting or exceeding our annual target of at least 10 percent EPS growth.”

The company said it still expects full-year earnings of $2.65 per share, or $2.64 per share excluding one-time items, before accounting for stock option expenses. Analysts expect 2005 earnings of $2.64 per share, according to a Thomson Financial survey.

Yum forecast annual sales growth of at least 5 percent for its international division, and at least 22 percent growth for its China division, before currency conversion. The company targets annual U.S. same-store sales growth of 1 percent to 2 percent.

News, Yum! Brands