Ratten und Kakerlaken in Schnellrestaurant entdeckt
Ungebetene Gäste sorgen in einem New Yorker Schnellrestaurant für Aufregung: Die Filiale einer großen Kette steht nicht zum ersten Mal wegen Hygieneproblemen in der Kritik - selbst Angestellten wurde in der Vergangenheit bereits mangelnde Reinlichkeit vorgeworfen.
New York - Das US-Fernsehen strahlte Aufnahmen von mindestens zwölf großen Nagern aus, die durch die Filiale von Kentucky Fried Chicken/Taco Bell im angesagten West Village wuselten. Diese geriet in den vergangenen drei Jahren insgesamt nicht weniger als vier Mal wegen Problemen mit Ratten und Mäusen ins Visier des Gesundheitsamts.
Und das waren der Behörde zufolge nicht die einzigen Hygiene-Verstöße, die sich das Restaurant erlaubte: Im März gingen 14 Beschwerden ein. Unter anderem wurden lebende Kakerlaken im Essen gefunden, und das Personal ließ sich bei der eigenen Reinlichkeit gehen.
Ein Einzelfall ist die KFC/Taco-Bell-Gaststätte freilich nicht. Ein Sprecher des Bürgermeisters sagte, die meisten New Yorker Restaurants seien den Gesundheitsinspektoren schon einmal negativ aufgefallen. In der Regel durften sie aber wieder öffnen, sobald sie ihre Probleme in den Griff bekamen.
Investoren straften die börsennotierte Muttergesellschaft Yum Brands dennoch ab: Die Aktie verlor mehr als 1,3 Prozent an Wert. Bereits im Dezember hatte Yums Taco-Bell-Kette für Negativ-Schlagzeilen gesorgt: Damals erkrankten mehr als hundert Menschen ernsthaft an Kolibakterien, die im Taco-Bell-Salat gewesen sein sollen. Yum-Sprecher waren für eine Stellungnahme nicht zu erreichen.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Yum Brands' international restaurants served up another strong performance as the operator of KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut reported 17 percent growth in third-quarter profit, despite trouble getting people to come back to Taco Bell locations in the U.S.
Yum Brands Inc. on Monday said profits in its China division grew 28 percent and international division profits were up 21 percent for the three months ended Sept. 8. The company's U.S. operation had a scant 1 percent profit growth for the period.
Overall, net income rose to $270 million, or 50 cents per share, from $230 million, or 42 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial expected earnings per share of 45 cents.
Yum shares climbed $1.94, or 5.7 percent, to close at $36.29 Monday before the results were released. They gained another $1.44 in after-hours trading.
The Louisville-based company's revenue rose 13 percent to $2.56 billion, from $2.28 billion in the third quarter of 2006. Analysts predicted revenue of $2.44 billion.
Much of the increase was due to the company's international division, in which revenue jumped 43 percent. Quarterly revenue rose 31 percent in Yum's China division, which includes mainland China, Thailand and KFC Taiwan.
In the U.S., meanwhile, revenue fell 6 percent. System same-store sales, including franchisees' sales, rose 1 percent from a year ago as growth in franchise performance offset a 1 percent decline for company restaurants.
Company same-store sales fell 6 percent at Taco Bell, which is trying to recover from an E. coli outbreak at some of the chain's East Coast restaurants last year that sickened 70 people. Yum's U.S. operations also were hurt by another highly publicized setback -- a rat infestation in a New York City KFC/Taco Bell restaurant that was filmed by a TV news camera in February.
""Our U.S. business performance improved versus the first half of the year; however, sales and profit growth remains below our target level due to results at Taco Bell,"" said David C. Novak, Yum's chairman and chief executive.
Yum executives predicted improved Taco Bell results in the fourth quarter along with solid U.S. profit growth.
""We're starting to see signs the business is turning, and we expect the business will continue to recover into the fourth quarter and well into next year,"" Yum spokesman Jonathan Blum said of Taco Bell.
Yum also said it plans up to $4 billion in share repurchases in the next two years. The company predicted that 2007 will be the sixth straight year of exceeding its target of at least 10 percent annual earnings per share growth.
Year-to-date results also showed sharp contrasts between Yum's overseas and U.S. performance.
Through the third quarter, operating profit was up 25 percent in the China division and 21 percent higher in the international division. Meanwhile, operating profit was down 4 percent in the United States.
For the full year, Yum said it expects U.S. system same-store sales and operating profit to be essentially even with last year.
The company's brands also include Long John Silver's and A&W All-American Food Restaurants.
Yum Brands Inc. (YUM) said it expects earnings growth of at least 10% for the 2008. The company said also said it expects the expansion of its U.S. refranchising to bring company ownership to below 10% by year-end 2010 from approximately 20% at year-end 2007. Revenue in the U.S. are also expected to be flat as a result of refranchising activity during 2007 and 2008, said the company, adding this will negatively impact 2008 revenue growth by at least four percentage points.
Yum Brands (YUM) is a stock to watch today, after the restaurant operator exceeded Wall Street forecasts with its latest earnings report. We'll also watch Dow component Hewlett-Packard after the Wall Street Journal reported that German and Russian officials are investigating whether HP paid millions in bribes to win a contract in Russia.