Yum! Brands Inc. (YUM), which got about 44 percent of revenue last year from stores in China, dropped the most in more than three years after manufacturing in the Asian nation declined for the first time in six months, signaling an economic slowdown.
China’s Purchasing Managers’ Index expanded at the weakest pace since December, falling to 50.4 from 53.3 in April, the statistics bureau and logistics federation said in Beijing. That compared with a median estimate of 52 in a Bloomberg survey of 27 economists. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.
A slowing Chinese economy “raises real concerns about Yum given 50 percent of its profit comes from company-owned stores in China,” said Bryan Elliott, an analyst at Raymond James Financial Inc. in St. Petersburg, Florida. “Manufacturing is an important part of income for consumers and an increasing amount of that income has been going to purchase meals at KFC in China.”
Yum plans to open 600 new restaurants in China this year. The Louisville, Kentucky-based company’s KFC and Pizza Hut chains have boosted sales in the Asian nation with delivery service and expansion into smaller cities.
The company has about 37,300 stores worldwide.
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