Yum! Brands, the owner of Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and KFC, has reported a 29.9% rise in sales to $356m for the three months to the end of 2012 on the back of continued strong growth in China. Sales for the quarter rose 15.4% to $4.1bn. Same-store sales rose 21% in China but just 1% in the US. The company opened 656 stores in China last year. The group opened 1,561 new restaurants in total during the 12 months. Yum’s China division saw operating profit rise12% to $210m. Internationally, Yum saw same stores sales rise 3%, with operating profit up 13% to $207m. In the US operating profit climbed 10% to $191m. David Novak, chairman and chief executive of Yum!, said: “We are on the ground floor of growth in India, Russia and Africa, where system sales grew at strong double-digit rates. For the year, our emerging market businesses at Yum! Restaurants International grew system sales 13%, prior to foreign currency translation, including new-unit growth of 7%. Emerging markets contributed nearly 50% of operating profit at Yum! Restaurants International.”