Yum China Holdings, the Chinese operator of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, announced on Monday that the resurgence of COVID-19 in China dented sales in the first quarter, hindering the sales revival from last year, reports Reuters. Same-store sales decreased around 20% from a year earlier for the first two weeks of March and was still trending down in recent days, after falling nearly 4% for the two months combined in January and February, Yum China said.
“Entering March, the situation has rapidly deteriorated with the highly transmissible Omicron variant causing outbreaks across China, including economically important regions of Guangdong, Shanghai, Shandong and Jilin,” the company said.
The restaurant chain recorded a 1% fall in same-store sales last year, an improvement from the 9% decline in 2020. However, tight curbs on travel and dining out due to the rapid spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant have hurt sales this year.