Yum China Holdings has reported total revenues of $2.3bn in the first quarter (Q1) ending 31 March 2019, a 4% increase year-over-year from $2.2bn in the previous year.

The restaurant company also reported a 23% decline in operating profit to $303m, compared to $395m for the same period in the previous year.

The company’s net income decreased by 23% to $222m from $288m, whereas the total system sales increased by 9% and same-store sales increased by 4%.

Yum China CEO Joey Wat said: “We are pleased to report a very strong start to 2019 as we delivered a 9% increase in system sales in constant currency in the first quarter, our tenth consecutive quarter of system sales growth since the spin-off.

“This resilient growth was driven by another robust quarter at KFC, which successfully lapped three strong first quarters between 2016 and 2018, and a very encouraging quarter at Pizza Hut.

“This resilient growth was driven by another robust quarter at KFC.”

“Pizza Hut delivered positive same-store sales growth and a significant improvement in profitability in the first quarter while continuing to make strategic investments in value offerings and multiple other initiatives to drive the ongoing revitalisation of the brand.”

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During this quarter, the chain remodelled 96 restaurants. It currently operates a total of 8,653 stores in more than 1,300 cities.

Additionally, delivery contributed to 19% of company sales, and digital payments accounted for 87%. Delivery services increased from 972 cities to 1,160.

Wat added: “During the first quarter, we opened 237 stores, led by an acceleration of KFC openings, as we continued to identify attractive opportunities to expand our presence in underserved markets.

“We also continued to invest in enhancing our digital and delivery capabilities, which are vital drivers of same-store sales growth across our portfolio of brands.”