Yum Brands says that the impact of the new coronavirus in China could weigh heavily on its first quarter results. The company, which is based in Louisville, Kentucky, owns the KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell brands. It has a separate company Yum China Holdings, that runs its operations in China and pays royalties to the U.S. company. Yum China said that more than 30%
of its 8,790 restaurants in China are currently closed. At restaurants that remain open, sales have fallen sharply. It said it’s not yet able to say what the full financial impact of the virus will be. China made up 27% of KFC’s total sales and 17% of Pizza Hut’s sales in the fourth quarter. Other U.S. restaurant companies, including McDonald’s and Starbucks, have also closed hundreds of stores in China.