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Yum’s China Sales Slump 29% in April on Chicken Safety Concern

Yum! Brands Inc., owner of the KFC and Pizza Hut dining chains, said sales at stores open at least 12 months fell 29 percent in China in April as customers remained concerned about the safety of its chicken and the spread of bird flu hurt demand.

Analysts projected a 27 percent drop, the average of five estimates compiled by researcher Consensus Metrix. Sales dropped 36 percent at KFC while gaining 5 percent at Pizza Hut, the Louisville, Kentucky-based company said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday. Yum’s same-store sales fell 13 percent in March in the Asian nation.