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Yum China yearly sales up 5%, names new COO

Fast-food conglomerate Yum China said total sales grew 5% for fiscal 2016, pushed on by revenue gains at KFC and Pizza Hut, despite comparable sales remaining flat across the board.

The Shanghai-based group said sales gained 6% at KFC and were up 3% at Pizza Hut. However, yearly same-store sales were flat, hurt by a decline of 7% at Pizza Hut. KFC comparable sales gained 3% compared to last year.

“We continue to focus on our long-term growth formula: new unit development, same-store sales growth, and continued restaurant margin improvement. Right now, our top priority is consistently delivering positive same-store sales growth,” said Micky Pant, Yum China’s CEO.

“Total delivery sales reached approximately $700 million, and in 2016, we were #1 among restaurant operators in terms of online sales in China. “Cashless payment accounted for about 30% of our company sales,” he added.

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Yum China opened 575 new restaurants for the full year, surpassing 7,500 restaurants in China. It opened 302 new restaurants during the last quarter alone, including its first Taco Bell store at the end of 2016.

In a separate press release, Yum China announced the appointments of Joey Wat to President and Chief Operating Officer of Yum China, and Johnson Huang to General Manager of the group’s KFC business.

Wat previously served as Chief Executive Officer of the KFC business. In her new role, Wat will oversee the KFC brand, as well as Pizza Hut Casual Dining and Pizza Hut Home Service brands. She will report Yum China’s Chief Executive Officer, Micky Pant.

Huang previously served as Chief Information and Marketing Support Officer. In his new role, Huang will report to Wat, as the new leader for the KFC brand.

Yum China is the official mainland China distributor for American brands KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell. Yum China also owns the Little Sheep and East Dawning concepts outright.