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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D. C. 20549

FORM 10-K

  ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES
   
EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934 for the fiscal year ended
December 31, 2020
OR
  TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the transition period from ____________ to _________________
 
Commission file number 1-13163
                        
YUM! BRANDS, INC.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

North Carolina 13-3951308
(State or other jurisdiction of (I.R.S. Employer
incorporation or organization) Identification No.)
1441 Gardiner Lane, Louisville, Kentucky 40213
(Address of principal executive offices) (Zip Code)
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (502)  874-8300
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
  Title of Each Class Trading Symbol(s) Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered
  Common Stock, no par value YUM New York Stock Exchange
  Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
  None

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.  Yes No
 
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes No
 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes No
 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer”, “accelerated filer”, “smaller reporting company”, and "emerging growth company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large Accelerated Filer
Accelerated Filer
Non-accelerated Filer Smaller Reporting Company
Emerging Growth Company

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).  Yes No



The aggregate market value of the voting stock (which consists solely of shares of Common Stock) held by non-affiliates of the registrant as of June 30, 2020, computed by reference to the closing price of the registrant’s Common Stock on the New York Stock Exchange Composite Tape on such date was approximately $26.2 billion.  All executive officers and directors of the registrant have been deemed, solely for the purpose of the foregoing calculation, to be “affiliates” of the registrant.  The number of shares outstanding of the registrant’s Common Stock as of February 12, 2021, was 300,055,312 shares.

Documents Incorporated by Reference

Portions of the definitive proxy statement furnished to shareholders of the registrant in connection with the annual meeting of shareholders to be held on May 11, 2021, are incorporated by reference into Part III.



Forward-Looking Statements


In this Form 10-K, as well as in other written reports and oral statements, we present “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended.  We intend all forward-looking statements to be covered by the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, and we are including this statement for purposes of complying with those safe harbor provisions.

Forward-looking statements can be identified by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts and by the use of forward-looking words such as “expect,” “expectation,” “believe,” “anticipate,” “may,” “could,” “intend,” “belief,” “plan,” “estimate,” “target,” “predict,” “likely,” “seek,” “project,” “model,” “ongoing,” “will,” “should,” “forecast,” “outlook” or similar terminology. Forward-looking statements are based on our current expectations, estimates, assumptions and/or projections, our perception of historical trends and current conditions, as well as other factors that we believe are appropriate and reasonable under the circumstances. Forward-looking statements are neither predictions nor guarantees of future events, circumstances or performance and are inherently subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those indicated by those forward-looking statements. There can be no assurance that our expectations, estimates, assumptions and/or projections will be achieved. Factors that could cause actual results and events to differ materially from our expectations, estimates, assumptions, projections and/or forward-looking statements include (i) the risks and uncertainties described in the Risk Factors included in Part I, Item 1A of this Form 10-K and (ii) the factors described in Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations included in Part II, Item 7 of this Form 10-K. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made. The forward-looking statements included in this Form 10-K are only made as of the date of this Form 10-K and we disclaim any obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.
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PART I
Item 1. Business.

Yum! Brands, Inc. (referred to herein as “YUM”, the “Registrant” or the “Company”), was incorporated under the laws of the state of North Carolina in 1997.  The principal executive offices of YUM are located at 1441 Gardiner Lane, Louisville, Kentucky 40213, and the telephone number at that location is (502) 874-8300. Our website address is https://www.yum.com.

YUM, together with its subsidiaries, is referred to in this Form 10-K annual report (“Form 10-K”) as the Company.  The terms “we,” “us” and “our” are also used in the Form 10-K to refer to the Company.  Throughout this Form 10-K, the terms “restaurants,” “stores” and “units” are used interchangeably. While YUM does not directly own or operate any restaurants, throughout this document we may refer to restaurants that are owned or operated by our subsidiaries as being Company-owned.

Overview of Business

YUM has over 50,000 restaurants in more than 150 countries and territories primarily operating under the four concepts of KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and The Habit Burger Grill (the “Concepts”).  The Company’s KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell brands are global leaders of the chicken, pizza and Mexican-style food categories, respectively. The Habit Burger Grill, a concept we acquired on March 18, 2020, is a fast-casual restaurant concept specializing in made-to-order chargrilled burgers, sandwiches and more. At December 31, 2020, 98% of our units are operated by independent franchisees or licensees under the terms of franchise or license agreements.  The terms franchise or franchisee within this Form 10-K are meant to describe third parties that operate units under either franchise or license agreements.

The following is a summary of our Concepts’ operations and a brief description of each Concept as of and for the year ended December 31, 2020:

Number of Units % of Units International Number of Countries and Territories % Franchised
System Sales(a)(b)
 (in Millions)
KFC Division 25,000  84  % 146  99  % $ 26,289 
Pizza Hut Division 17,639  63  % 110  99 % 11,955 
Taco Bell Division 7,427  % 31  94  % 11,745 
Habit Burger Grill Division 287  % 12  % 370 
YUM 50,353  65  % 155  98  % $ 50,359 
(a)    Constitutes sales of all restaurants, both Company-owned and franchised. See further discussion of this performance metric within Part II, Item 7 of this Form 10-K.

(b)    System sales of Habit Burger Grill are for the period from March 18, 2020 through December 31, 2020.

KFC

KFC was founded in Corbin, Kentucky, by Colonel Harland D. Sanders, an early developer of the quick service food business and a pioneer of the restaurant franchise concept.  The Colonel perfected his secret blend of 11 herbs and spices for Kentucky Fried Chicken in 1939 and signed up his first franchisee in 1952. KFC restaurants across the world offer fried and non-fried chicken products such as sandwiches, chicken strips, chicken-on-the-bone and other chicken products marketed under a variety of names.

Pizza Hut

The first Pizza Hut restaurant was opened in 1958 in Wichita, Kansas, and within a year, the first franchise unit was opened.  Today, Pizza Hut is the largest restaurant chain in the world specializing in the sale of ready-to-eat pizza products. Pizza Hut operates in the delivery, carryout and casual dining segments around the world.


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Taco Bell

The first Taco Bell restaurant was opened in 1962 by Glen Bell in Downey, California, and in 1964, the first Taco Bell franchise was sold. Taco Bell specializes in Mexican-style food products, including various types of tacos, burritos, quesadillas, salads, nachos and other related items.

Habit Burger Grill

The first Habit Burger Grill restaurant opened in 1969 in Santa Barbara, California. The Habit Burger Grill restaurant concept is built around a distinctive and diverse menu that includes chargrilled burgers and sandwiches made-to-order over an open flame and topped with fresh ingredients.

Business Strategy

Through our Recipe for Growth and Good we intend to unlock the growth potential of our Concepts and YUM, drive increased collaboration across our Concepts and geographies and consistently deliver better customer experiences, improved unit economics and higher rates of growth. Key enablers include accelerated use of technology and better leverage of our systemwide scale.

Our Recipe for Growth is based on four key drivers:
Unrivaled Culture and Talent: Leverage our culture and people capability to fuel brand performance and franchise success
Unmatched Operating Capability: Recruit and equip the best restaurant operators in the world to deliver great customer experiences
Relevant, Easy and Distinctive Brands: Innovate and elevate iconic restaurant brands people trust and champion
Bold Restaurant Development: Drive market and franchise expansion with strong economics and value

Our global citizenship and sustainability strategy, called the Recipe for Good, reflects our priorities for socially responsible growth, risk management and sustainable stewardship of our people, food and planet.  

Information about Operating Segments

As of December 31, 2020, YUM consists of four operating segments:  

The KFC Division which includes our worldwide operations of the KFC concept
The Pizza Hut Division which includes our worldwide operations of the Pizza Hut concept
The Taco Bell Division which includes our worldwide operations of the Taco Bell concept
The Habit Burger Grill Division which includes our worldwide operations of the Habit Burger Grill concept

Franchise Agreements

The franchise programs of the Company are designed to promote consistency and quality, and the Company is selective in granting franchises. The Company is focused on partnering with franchisees who have the commitment, capability and capitalization to grow our Concepts. Franchisees can range in size from individuals owning just one restaurant to large publicly-traded companies.  The Company has franchise relationships that are particularly important to our business, such as our relationship with Yum China, our strategic alliance with Telepizza Group S.A., who is the master franchisee of Pizza Hut in Latin America (excluding Brazil) and portions of Europe and our relationship with certain large franchisees, such as Flynn Restaurant Group, an existing YUM franchisee, which recently announced its intention to acquire approximately 950 Pizza Hut U.S. restaurants which would make it the largest operator of Pizza Hut restaurants in the U.S.

The Company has successfully increased franchise restaurant ownership in recent years, and utilizes both store-level franchise and master franchise programs to grow our businesses.  Of our over 49,000 franchised units at December 31, 2020, approximately 30% operate under our master franchise programs, including over 9,500 units in mainland China. The remainder of our franchise units operate under store-level franchise agreements. Under both types of franchise programs, franchisees supply capital by purchasing or leasing the land, building, equipment, signs, seating, inventories and supplies and, over the longer term, by reinvesting in the business.  In certain historical refranchising transactions the Company may have retained ownership of land and building and continues to lease them to the franchisee.  Store-level franchise agreements  typically require  payment to the Company of certain upfront fees such as initial fees paid upon opening of a store, fees paid to renew the term of the franchise agreement and fees paid in the event the franchise agreement is transferred to another franchisee. 
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Franchisees also pay monthly continuing fees based on a percentage of their restaurants’ sales (typically between 4% to 6%) and are required to spend a certain amount to advertise and promote the brand.  Under master franchise arrangements, the Company enters into agreements that allow master franchisees to operate restaurants as well as sub-franchise restaurants within certain geographic territories.  Master franchisees are typically responsible for overseeing development within their territories and performing certain other administrative duties with regard to the oversight of sub-franchisees. In exchange, master franchisees retain a certain percentage of fees payable by the sub-franchisees under their franchise agreements and typically pay lower fees for the restaurants they operate. Our largest master franchisee, Yum China, pays the Company a continuing fee of 3% on system sales of our Concepts in mainland China. The use by Yum China of certain of our material trademarks and service marks is governed by a master license agreement between Yum Restaurants Consulting (Shanghai) Company Limited (“YCCL”), a wholly-owned indirect subsidiary of Yum China, and YUM, through YRI China Franchising LLC, a subsidiary of YUM, effective from January 1, 2020, and previously through Yum! Restaurants Asia Pte. Ltd., another subsidiary of YUM, from October 31, 2016 to December 31, 2019.

The Company seeks to maintain strong and open relationships with our franchisees and their representatives.  To this end, the Company invests a significant amount of time working with the franchisee community and their representative organizations on key aspects of the business, including products, equipment, operational improvements and standards.

Restaurant Operations

Through its Concepts, YUM develops, operates and franchises a worldwide system of both traditional and non-traditional Quick Service Restaurants (“QSR”).  Traditional units can feature dine-in, carryout, drive-thru and delivery services.  Non-traditional units include express units and kiosks that have a more limited menu, usually generate lower sales volumes and operate in non-traditional locations like malls, airports, gasoline service stations, train stations, subways, convenience stores, stadiums, amusement parks and colleges, where a full-scale traditional outlet would not be practical or efficient.

Most restaurants in each Concept offer consumers the ability to dine in, carryout food and/or have the Concepts' food delivered either through store-level or third-party delivery services. In addition, Taco Bell and KFC offer a drive-thru option in many stores.  Pizza Hut and Habit Burger Grill offer a drive-thru option on a much more limited basis.  

Our restaurant operations and results were significantly impacted by a novel strain of coronavirus, COVID-19, in the year ended December 31, 2020. This included having a significant number of our open restaurants subject to dining room closures and other limitations on access. In response, we accelerated our deployment of digital and technology initiatives to enhance the customer experience and our off-premise capabilities. This included increasing our focus on driving digital sales where customers utilize ordering interaction that is primarily facilitated by automated technology. In 2020, our system restaurants generated digital sales of $17 billion, which represented an approximate 45% increase over 2019. Additionally, the number of restaurants that now offer delivery increased to over 35,000 restaurants, which represents over 70% of our global system.

Restaurant management structure varies by Concept and unit size.  Generally, each restaurant is led by a restaurant general manager (“RGM”), together with one or more assistant managers, depending on the operating complexity and sales volume of the restaurant.  Each Concept issues detailed manuals, which may then be customized to meet local regulations and customs. These manuals set forth standards and requirements for all aspects of restaurant operations, including food safety and quality, food handling and product preparation procedures, equipment maintenance, facility standards and accounting control procedures.  The restaurant management teams are responsible for the day-to-day operation of each unit and for ensuring compliance with operating standards. CHAMPS – which stands for Cleanliness, Hospitality, Accuracy, Maintenance, Product Quality and Speed of Service – is our proprietary systemwide program for training, measuring and rewarding employee performance against key customer measures.  CHAMPS is intended to align the operating processes of our entire system around one core set of standards. RGMs’ efforts, including CHAMPS performance measures, are monitored by Area Coaches, where sufficient scale allows.  Area Coaches typically work with approximately six to twelve restaurants.  

Supply and Distribution

The Company and franchisees of the Concepts are substantial purchasers of a number of food and paper products, equipment and other restaurant supplies. The principal items purchased include chicken, cheese, beef and pork products, paper and packaging materials. Prices paid for these supplies fluctuate.  When prices increase, the Concepts may attempt to pass on such increases to their customers, although there is no assurance that this can be done in practice. The Company does not typically experience significant continuous shortages of supplies, and alternative sources for most of these supplies are generally available.  

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In the U.S., the Company, along with the representatives of the Company’s KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell franchisee groups, are members of Restaurant Supply Chain Solutions, LLC (“RSCS"), a third party which is responsible for purchasing certain restaurant products and equipment.  Additionally, The Habit Burger Grill entered into a purchasing agreement with RSCS effective July 31, 2020. The core mission of RSCS is to provide the lowest possible sustainable store-delivered prices for restaurant products and equipment.  This arrangement combines the purchasing power of the Company-owned and franchisee restaurants, which the Company believes leverages the system’s scale to drive cost savings and effectiveness in the purchasing function.  The Company also believes that RSCS fosters closer alignment of interests and a stronger relationship with our franchisee community.

Most food products, paper and packaging supplies, and equipment used in restaurant operations are distributed to individual restaurant units by third-party distribution companies.  In the U.S., McLane Foodservice, Inc. is the exclusive distributor for the majority of items used in Company-owned restaurants and for a substantial number of franchisee restaurants.  Outside the U.S., we and our Concepts’ franchisees primarily use decentralized sourcing and distribution systems involving many different global, regional and local suppliers and distributors.  Our international franchisees generally select and manage their own third-party suppliers and distributors, subject to our internal standards. All suppliers and distributors are expected to provide products and/or services that comply with all applicable laws, rules and regulations in the state and/or country in which they operate as well as comply with our internal standards.

Advertising and Promotional Programs

Company-owned and franchise restaurants are required to spend a percentage of their respective restaurants’ sales on advertising programs with the goal of increasing sales and enhancing the reputation of the Concepts. Advertising may be conducted nationally, regionally and locally. When multiple franchisees operate in the same country or region, the national and regional advertising spending is typically conducted by a cooperative to which the franchisees and Company-owned restaurants, if any, contribute funds as a percentage of restaurants’ sales. The contributions are primarily used to pay for expenses relating to purchasing media for advertising, market research, commercial production, talent payments and other support functions for the respective Concepts. We have the right to control the advertising activities of certain advertising cooperatives, typically in markets where we have Company-owned restaurants, through our majority voting rights.

Trademarks and Patents

The Company and its Concepts own numerous registered trademarks and service marks.  The Company believes that many of these marks, including our Kentucky Fried Chicken®, KFC®, Pizza Hut®, Taco Bell® and The Habit® marks, have significant value and material importance to our business.  The Company’s policy is to pursue registration of important marks whenever feasible and to oppose vigorously any infringement of our marks.  

The use of certain of these marks by franchisees has been authorized in our franchise agreements.  Under current law and with proper use, the Company’s rights in our marks can generally last indefinitely.  The Company also has certain patents on restaurant equipment which, while valuable, are not currently considered material to our business.

Working Capital

Information about the Company’s working capital is included in MD&A in Part II, Item 7 and the Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows in Part II, Item 8.

Seasonal Operations

The Company does not consider its operations to be seasonal to any material degree.

Competition

The retail food industry, in which our Concepts compete, is made up of supermarkets, supercenters, warehouse stores, convenience stores, coffee shops, snack bars, delicatessens and restaurants (including those in the QSR segment), and is intensely competitive with respect to price and quality of food products, new product development, digital engagement, advertising levels and promotional initiatives, customer service reputation, restaurant location and attractiveness and maintenance of properties. Competition has also increased from and been enabled by delivery aggregators and other food delivery services in recent years, particularly in urbanized areas, which trend has accelerated following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our Concepts also face competition as a result of convergence in grocery, convenience, deli and restaurant services, including the offering by the grocery industry of convenient meals, including pizzas and entrees with side
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dishes. The retail food industry is often affected by: changes in consumer tastes; national, regional or local economic conditions; currency fluctuations; demographic trends; traffic patterns; the type, number and location of competing food retailers and products; and disposable purchasing power.  Within the retail food industry, each of our Concepts competes with international, national and regional chains as well as locally-owned establishments, not only for customers, but also for management and hourly personnel, suitable real estate sites and qualified franchisees.  Given the various types and vast number of competitors, our Concepts do not constitute a significant portion of the retail food industry in terms of number of system units or system sales, either on a worldwide or individual country basis.

Environmental Matters

The Company is not aware of any federal, state or local environmental laws or regulations that will materially affect our earnings or competitive position, or result in material capital expenditures.  However, the Company cannot predict the effect on our operations due to possible future environmental legislation or regulations.  During 2020, there were no material capital expenditures for environmental control facilities and no such material expenditures are anticipated.

Government Regulation

U.S. Operations.  The Company and its U.S. operations, as well as our franchisees, are subject to various federal, state and local laws affecting our business, including laws and regulations concerning information security, privacy, labor and employment, health, marketing, food labeling, competition, public accommodation, sanitation and safety.  Each of our and our Concepts’ franchisees’ restaurants in the U.S. must comply with licensing requirements and regulations promulgated by a number of governmental authorities, which include health, sanitation, safety, fire and zoning agencies in the state and/or municipality in which the restaurant is located.  In addition, each Concept must comply with various state and federal laws that regulate the franchisor/franchisee relationship.  To date, the Company has not been materially adversely affected by such licensing requirements and regulations or by any difficulty, delay or failure to obtain required licenses or approvals.

International Operations.  Our and our Concepts’ franchisees’ restaurants outside the U.S. are subject to national and local laws and regulations which have similarities to those affecting U.S. restaurants but may differ among jurisdictions.  The restaurants outside the U.S. are also subject to tariffs and regulations on imported commodities and equipment, laws regulating foreign investment and anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws.  

See Item 1A “Risk Factors” of this Form 10-K for a discussion of risks relating to federal, state, local and international regulation of our business.

Human Capital Management

Overview

As of December 31, 2020, the Company and its subsidiaries employed approximately 38,000 persons, including approximately 23,000 employees in the U.S. and approximately 15,000 employees outside the U.S. Approximately 90% and 85% of our U.S. and international employees, respectively, work in restaurants while the remainder work in our restaurant-support centers. In the U.S., approximately 85% of our Company-owned restaurant employees are part-time and at least 45% have been employed by the Company for less than a year. Some of our International employees are subject to labor council relationships whose terms vary due to the diverse countries in which the Company operates.

In addition to the persons employed by the Company and its subsidiaries, our approximately 2,000 franchisees around the world are estimated to employ over 1 million people working in and supporting the approximately 49,000 restaurants they operate. Each year YUM and our franchisees around the world create thousands of restaurant jobs, which are part-time, entry-level opportunities to grow careers at our KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and The Habit Burger Grill brands. As evidence of the opportunities these positions create, approximately 80% of our Company-owned Restaurant General Managers (“RGMs”) located in the U.S. have been promoted from other positions in our restaurants and such RGMs often earn competitive pay greater than the average American household income.

Human capital management considerations are integral to our Recipe for Growth and Good strategy, the drivers of which include leveraging our culture and people capability to fuel brand performance and franchise success, as well as recruiting and equipping the best restaurant operators in the world to deliver great customer experiences. Our investment in people includes creating a culture of engagement that attracts, retains and grows the best people and creates high performance in our restaurants. We are also highly focused on building an inclusive culture among our employees, franchisees, suppliers and partners to reflect
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the diversity of our customers and communities. Our commitments and progress towards executing this strategy are reflected below.

Culture & Talent

We believe that our culture and talent provide us with a competitive advantage with respect to the performance of our business. Our areas of focus in this regard include the following:

Measuring YUM employee engagement regularly. For example, every other year we conduct a global employee engagement survey of all employees working in our restaurant support centers. The most recent survey conducted was in 2019 and reflected an engagement level among our employees significantly exceeding the average engagement levels of benchmarked companies.

Providing YUM employees with training and development that builds world-class leaders and drives business results. We promote these efforts through initiatives such as our leadership development program (Heartstyles), our unconscious bias program (Inclusive Leadership) and training programs with respect to our compliance polices, including our Code of Conduct. We also intend to make available the Heartstyles program to our franchisees so that their employees may benefit as well.

Enabling a culture that fuels results and cross-brand collaboration on operational execution, people capability and customer experience initiatives across our system.

Assessing progress towards lowering turnover and increasing retention rates, particularly at the restaurant-employee level.

Equity, Inclusion & Belonging

In connection with our focus on equity, inclusion and belonging, our areas of focus include the following:

Continually building upon ongoing inclusion efforts to help ensure our workplaces are environments where all people can be successful.

Significantly increasing the number of women in our senior leadership globally, with a goal of achieving gender parity by 2030. In 2019, approximately 40% of our global leadership roles were held by women and approximately half of our global above-restaurant workforce were women.

Increasing representation of Black and Latinx U.S. associates among our executive and management ranks, franchisees and suppliers over the next 10 years to match the combined demographics of those groups within the U.S. We intend to further this goal through an increased focus on coaching capability, sponsorship programs and customized individual development plans. Moreover, we have joined We Are All Human's Hispanic Promise, a national pledge to hire, promote, retain and celebrate Hispanics in the workplace. We also plan to enhance our relationship with the Consortium for Graduate Studies in Management, which brings outstanding underrepresented talent of color and companies like YUM together to fill critical organizational roles.

Continuing to roll out Inclusive Leadership training and anti-racism training across our system. We intend to expand our Inclusive Leadership training to employees and franchisees around the world and have started development of an online module of this training program to help provide even greater access.

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COVID-19 Response

In connection with navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been heavily focused on the health and safety of the employees, customers and franchisees of our Concepts. Our response efforts during the pandemic have included the following:

Supporting impacted employees through establishment of a global medical relief fund through Yum! Brands Foundation, Inc. for Company-owned and franchise restaurant team members diagnosed with COVID-19 or acting as the primary caregiver for someone diagnosed with COVID-19.

Assisting franchisees through a global franchise health and COVID-19 support team for business continuity and providing assistance to franchisees who were in good standing and needed more access to capital, primarily through deferrals of capital obligations for remodels and new development. Additionally, where necessary, we provided grace periods for near-term payments due to YUM.

Keeping restaurants open safely through increased use of low contact options such as delivery, drive-thru and curbside pickup, providing for contactless delivery, increased cleaning and sanitization and providing for personal protective equipment, temperature checks and counter shields.

Available Information

The Company makes available, through the Investor Relations section of its internet website at https://www.yum.com, its annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act, as soon as reasonably practicable after electronically filing such material with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) at https://www.sec.gov.  

Our Corporate Governance Principles and our Code of Conduct are also located within the Investor Relations section of the Company's website.  The references to the Company’s website address in this Form 10-K do not constitute incorporation by reference of the information contained on the website and should not be considered part of this Form 10-K.  These documents, as well as our SEC filings, are available in print free of charge to any shareholder who requests a copy from our Investor Relations Department.

Item 1A. Risk Factors.

You should carefully review the risks described below as they identify important factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from our forward-looking statements, expectations and historical trends. Any of the following risk factors, either by itself or together with other risk factors, could materially adversely affect our business, results of operations, cash flows and/or financial condition.

Risks Related to COVID-19, Health Epidemics and Food Safety

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic has had, and is expected to continue to have, an adverse effect on our business and results of operations.

In late 2019, COVID-19 was first detected and in March 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. During 2020, COVID-19 spread throughout the U.S. and the rest of the world, and governmental authorities implemented measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19. These measures include restrictions on travel outside the home or other limitations on business and other activities, as well as encouraging social distancing. Moreover, COVID-19 cases increased in late 2020 and early 2021 in the U.S. and various other regions of the world in which we have operations, which resulted in some governmental authorities re-imposing restrictions on business and other activities that were previously lifted or reduced.

Developments related to COVID-19 have had and are expected to continue to have an adverse effect on our business and results of operations. The impacts of COVID-19 have included the ongoing loss of revenues due to reduced and limited store-level operations, continued or increased full or partial dining room closures, other restrictions on our business and operations, continued delays in reopening, and an increase in the number of permanent restaurant closures during the year ended December 31, 2020. The impact on our sales in each of our markets has been dependent on, among other factors, the timing, severity and duration of the outbreak, measures implemented by government authorities to reduce the spread of COVID-19, and our reliance on dine-in sales in the market. Additionally, we and our franchisees have made operational changes intended to safeguard employees and customers in response to COVID-19, including increased cleaning and sanitization, installation of counter
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screens and purchasing personal protective equipment, which have increased and may continue to increase restaurant operating costs and impact restaurant-level margins and return on invested capital. Our and our franchisees restaurants may experience interruptions of food and other supplies as well as labor shortages as a result of COVID-19, thereby disrupting our and our franchisees operations and impacting same-store sales negatively.

Our success is heavily reliant on our Concepts’ franchisees, and the COVID-19 pandemic has caused and may continue to cause financial distress for certain franchisees, particularly those located in areas most significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of this distress, our franchisees may not be able to meet their financial obligations to us as they come due, including the payment of royalties, rent, or other amounts due to the Company. This has led to, and may continue to lead to, write-offs of amounts we have currently due from our franchisees beyond amounts we have reserved, as well as decreased future collections from franchisees. In certain instances we offered grace periods to our franchisees, who were in good standing with the Company and needed greater access to capital, for certain near-term payments due to us. Offering grace periods negatively impacts the Company’s cash flows in the short-term, and if grace periods are necessitated in the future there is no guarantee that our franchisees will ultimately pay amounts due. Additionally, our franchisees may not be able to make payments to landlords, distributors and key suppliers, as well as payments to service any debt they may have outstanding. Franchisee financial distress has also led to, and may continue to lead to, permanent store closures and delayed or reduced new franchisee development, which may further harm our results and liquidity. Further, in some cases, we are contingently liable for franchisee lease obligations, and a failure by a franchisee to perform its obligations under such lease could result in direct payment obligations for YUM.

We are unable to fully predict the impact that COVID-19 will have on our and our franchisees’ operations going forward due to various uncertainties, including the severity and duration of the outbreak, the timing and availability of effective medical treatments and vaccines, the timing and effectiveness of the ongoing rollout of vaccines, the extent to which COVID-19 may cause customers to continue to be reluctant to return to in-restaurant dining or otherwise change their consumption patterns (including after the COVID-19 pandemic has ended), additional actions that may be taken by governmental authorities, and the length and severity of ongoing negative economic conditions in the U.S. and globally arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, if conditions related to the COVID-19 pandemic result in significant disruptions to capital and financial markets, or negatively impact our credit ratings, our cost of borrowing, our ability to access capital on favorable terms and our overall liquidity and capital structure could be adversely impacted. Finally, the negative economic conditions arising from the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in the impairment of the value of certain of our restaurant assets as well as the goodwill impairment charge we incurred with respect to our Habit Burger Grill reporting unit in the first quarter of 2020. If such conditions persist and continue to adversely affect our business, this could give rise to impairment in the value of other tangible or intangible assets. Conversely, for our restaurants that prominently feature drive-thru, carryout and delivery options, COVID-19 has in many cases contributed to an increase in sales during 2020. If the impact of COVID-19 recedes, in-person dining restrictions are lifted or lessened and the restaurant industry in general returns to more normal operations, the benefits to sales experienced by certain of our restaurants, including our Pizza Hut delivery restaurants, could wane and our results could be negatively impacted.

Food safety and food-borne illness concerns may have an adverse effect on our business.

Food-borne illnesses, such as E. coli, Listeria, Salmonella and Trichinosis, occur or may occur within our system from time to time. In addition, food safety issues such as food tampering, contamination and adulteration occur or may occur within our system from time to time. Furthermore, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are now stricter health regulations and guidelines and increased public concern over food safety standards and controls. Any report or publicity linking us or one of our Concepts’ restaurants, including restaurants operated by us or our Concepts’ franchisees, or linking our competitors or the retail food industry generally, to instances of food-borne illness or food safety issues could adversely affect our Concepts’ brands and reputations as well as our revenues and profits, and possibly lead to product liability claims, litigation, governmental investigations or actions, and damages. If a customer of one of our Concepts’ restaurants becomes ill from food borne illnesses or as a result of food safety issues, restaurants in our system may be temporarily closed, which could disrupt our operations and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, instances or allegations of food-borne illness or food safety issues, real or perceived, involving our restaurants, restaurants of competitors, or our suppliers or distributors (regardless of whether we use or have used those suppliers or distributors), or otherwise involving the types of food served at our restaurants, could result in negative publicity that could adversely affect either our or our Concepts’ franchisees’ revenues and profits. The occurrence of food-borne illnesses or food safety issues could also adversely affect the price and availability of affected ingredients, which could result in disruptions in our supply chain and/or lower margins for us and our Concepts’ franchisees.

Health concerns arising from the outbreak of a health epidemic or pandemic may have an adverse effect on our business.

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Our business could be materially and adversely affected by the outbreak of a widespread health epidemic or pandemic (in addition to the current COVID-19 pandemic, as discussed above), including arising from various strains of avian flu or swine flu, such as H1N1, particularly if located in regions from which we derive a significant amount of revenue or profit. The occurrence of such an outbreak or other adverse public health developments could materially disrupt our business and operations. Such events could also significantly impact our industry and cause a temporary closure of restaurants, which could severely disrupt our or our franchisees’ operations and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

In addition, our operations could be disrupted if any of our employees or employees of our business partners were suspected of having the avian flu or swine flu, or other illnesses such as hepatitis A or norovirus, since this could require us or our business partners to quarantine some or all of such employees or disinfect our restaurant facilities. Outbreaks of avian flu occur from time to time around the world, and such outbreaks have resulted in confirmed human cases. It is possible that outbreaks could reach pandemic levels. Public concern over avian flu generally may cause fear about the consumption of chicken, eggs and other products derived from poultry, which could cause customers to consume less poultry and related products. Because poultry is a menu offering for our Concepts, this would likely result in lower revenues and profits for us and our Concepts’ franchisees. Avian flu outbreaks could also adversely affect the price and availability of poultry, which could negatively impact profit margins and revenues for us and our Concepts’ franchisees.

Furthermore, other viruses may be transmitted through human contact, and the risk of contracting viruses could cause employees or guests to avoid gathering in public places, which could adversely affect restaurant guest traffic or the ability to adequately staff restaurants. We could also be adversely affected if government authorities impose mandatory closures, seek voluntary closures, impose restrictions on operations of restaurants, or restrict the import or export of products, or if suppliers issue mass recalls of products. Even if such measures are not implemented and a virus or other disease does not spread significantly, the perceived risk of infection or health risk may adversely affect our business and operating results.

Risks Related to our Business Strategy and reliance upon Franchisees

Our operating results and growth strategies are closely and increasingly tied to the success of our Concepts’ franchisees.

The vast majority (98%) of our restaurants are operated by our Concepts’ franchisees, and our percentage of franchise-owned restaurants has increased in recent years. Our refranchising efforts have increased our dependence on the financial success and cooperation of our Concepts’ franchisees. In addition, our long-term growth depends on maintaining the pace of our net system unit growth rate. Nearly all of this unit growth is expected to result from new unit openings by our Concepts’ franchisees. We also rely on master franchisees, who have rights to license to sub-franchisees the right to develop and operate restaurants, to achieve our expectations for new unit development. If our Concepts’ franchisees and master franchisees do not meet our expectations for new unit development, we may not achieve our desired growth.

We have limited control over how our Concepts’ franchisees’ businesses are run, and their inability to operate successfully could adversely affect our operating results through decreased fees paid to us for royalties, advertising funds contributions, and other discrete services we may provide to our Concept’s franchisees (e.g. management of e-commerce platforms). If our Concepts’ franchisees fail to adequately capitalize their businesses or incur too much debt, if their operating expenses or commodity prices increase or if economic or sales trends deteriorate such that they are unable to operate profitably or repay existing debt, it could result in their financial distress, including insolvency or bankruptcy, or the inability to meet development targets or obligations. If a significant franchisee of one of our Concepts becomes, or a significant number of our Concepts’ franchisees in the aggregate become, financially distressed, our operating results could be impacted through reduced or delayed fee payments that cause us to record bad debt expense, reduced advertising fund contributions, and reduced new unit development. For example, NPC International, Inc. (“NPC”), which had been our largest Pizza Hut U.S. franchisee, filed voluntary petitions in July 2020 to restructure under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. In connection with this bankruptcy filing, we consented to the closure of up to 300 mutually selected underperforming units, primarily dine-in locations. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused and may continue to cause financial distress for some portion of our Concepts’ franchisees. In addition, we are secondarily liable on certain of our Concepts’ franchisees’ restaurant lease agreements, including lease agreements that we have guaranteed or assigned to franchisees in connection with the refranchising of certain Company-owned restaurants. Our operating results could be impacted by any increased rent obligations for such leased properties to the extent our Concepts’ franchisees default on such lease agreements. In addition, the failure of our Concepts’ franchisees to attract and retain quality personnel or adequately engage in succession planning may adversely affect their restaurant operations and the development of new restaurants, which in turn could hurt our business.

Our success also depends on the willingness and ability of our Concepts’ franchisees to implement marketing programs and major initiatives such as restaurant remodels or equipment or technology upgrades, which may require financial investment. Our Concepts may be unable to successfully implement strategies that we believe are necessary for further growth if their franchisees do not participate, which in turn may harm the growth prospects and financial condition of the Company.
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Additionally, the failure of our Concepts’ franchisees to focus on key elements of restaurant operations, such as quality, service and cleanliness (even if such failures do not rise to the level of breaching the related franchise documents) may be attributed by guests to our Concepts’ entire brand and could have a negative impact on our business.

Our reliance on master franchise arrangements can decrease our level of control over our Concepts’ restaurants and increase certain risks arising from franchise operations. For example, we rely on our master franchisees to monitor and enforce sub-franchisee compliance with our operating standards, and a failure to comply with such standards could adversely affect our business.

The financial performance of certain of our Concepts’ franchisees has an outsized impact on our operating results.

We have franchise relationships that are particularly important to our business, such as our relationship with Yum China. In connection with the spin-off of our China business in 2016 into an independent publicly-traded company (the “Separation” or “Yum China spin-off”), we entered into a Master License Agreement pursuant to which Yum China is the exclusive licensee of the KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell Concepts and their related marks and other intellectual property rights for restaurant services in mainland China. Following the Separation, Yum China became, and continues to be, our largest franchisee. Our financial results are significantly affected by Yum China’s results as we are entitled to receive a 3% sales-based royalty on all Yum China system sales related to our Concepts.

In addition to Yum China, we have other significant relationships on which our success is dependent, including our strategic alliance with Telepizza Group S.A., which is the master franchisee of Pizza Hut in Latin America (excluding Brazil) and portions of Europe, and our relationship with certain large franchisees, such as Flynn Restaurant Group, an existing YUM franchisee which recently announced its intention to acquire approximately 950 Pizza Hut U.S. restaurants which would make it the largest operator of Pizza Hut restaurants in the U.S. Any failure to realize the expected benefits of such franchise relationships may adversely impact our business and operating results.

We may not achieve our target development goals, including as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and new restaurants may not be profitable.

Our growth strategy depends on our and our Concepts’ franchisees’ ability to increase the number of restaurants around the world. However, we had fewer net restaurant openings and greater permanent restaurant closures during 2020 compared to our recent history and expectations as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, we experienced higher closures in the Pizza Hut system during 2020 as a result of our previously announced efforts to accelerate the transformation of the Pizza Hut restaurant estate to a more modern and delivery-based business and other business model pressures impacting certain Pizza Hut restaurants. The successful development of new units depends in large part on the ability of our Concepts’ franchisees to open new restaurants and to operate these restaurants profitably. Effectively managing growth can be challenging, particularly as we expand into new markets internationally, and we cannot guarantee that we, or our Concepts’ franchisees, including Yum China, will be able to achieve our expansion goals or that new restaurants will be operated profitably. Further, there is no assurance that any new restaurant will produce operating results similar to those of our existing restaurants. Other risks that could impact our ability to increase the number of our restaurants include prevailing economic conditions and trade or economic policies or sanctions, our ability to attract new franchisees, construction and development costs of new restaurants, and our, or our Concepts’ franchisees’, ability to obtain suitable restaurant locations, negotiate acceptable lease or purchase terms for the locations, obtain required permits and approvals in a timely manner, hire and train qualified management teams and restaurant crews, and meet construction schedules.

Expansion into markets could also be affected by our Concepts’ franchisees’ willingness to invest capital or ability to obtain financing to construct and open new restaurants. If it becomes more difficult or more expensive for our Concepts’ franchisees to obtain financing to develop new restaurants, or if the perceived return on invested capital is not sufficiently attractive, the expected growth of our system could slow and our future revenues and operating cash flows could be adversely impacted.

In addition, the development of new restaurants could impact the sales of our Concepts’ existing restaurants nearby. There can be no assurance that sales cannibalization will not occur or become more significant in the future as we increase our presence in existing markets.

We may not realize the anticipated benefits from past or potential future acquisitions, investments or other strategic transactions.

From time to time we evaluate and may complete mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, joint ventures, strategic partnerships, minority investments (which may include minority investments in third parties, such as franchisees or master franchisees) and other strategic transactions, including our acquisition of The Habit Restaurants, Inc. completed in March 2020, our strategic
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alliance with Telepizza Group S.A. effectuated in December 2018, and our acquisition of QuikOrder, LLC completed in December 2018.


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Past and potential future strategic transactions may involve various inherent risks, including, without limitation:

expenses, delays or difficulties in integrating acquired companies, joint venture operations, strategic partnerships or investments into our organization, including the failure to realize expected synergies and/or the inability to retain key personnel;

diversion of management’s attention from other initiatives and/or day-to-day operations to effectively execute our growth strategy;

inability to generate sufficient revenue, profit, and cash flow from acquired companies, joint ventures, strategic partnerships or investments;

the possibility that we have acquired substantial contingent or unanticipated liabilities in connection with acquisitions or other strategic transactions; and

the possibility that investments we have made may decline significantly in value, which could lead to the potential impairment of the carrying value of goodwill associated with acquired businesses.

Past and potential future strategic transactions may not ultimately create value for us and may harm our reputation and materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Risks Related to Operating a Global Business

We have significant exposure to the Chinese market through our largest franchisee, Yum China, which subjects us to risks that could negatively affect our business.

A significant portion of our total business is conducted in mainland China, particularly with respect to our KFC Concept. Yum China’s business is exposed to risks in mainland China, which include, among others, potential political, financial or social instability, changes in economic conditions (including consumer spending, unemployment levels and wage and commodity inflation), consumer preferences, the regulatory environment (including uncertainties with respect to the interpretation and enforcement of Chinese laws, rules and regulations), the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and related Chinese governmental restrictions. Further, any significant or prolonged deterioration in U.S.–China relations, including as the result of current U.S.–China tensions, could adversely affect our Concepts in mainland China. Chinese law regulates Yum China’s business conducted within mainland China. Our royalty income from the Yum China business is therefore subject to numerous uncertainties based on the policies of the Chinese government, as they may change from time to time. If Yum China’s business is harmed or development of our Concepts’ restaurants is slowed in mainland China due to any of these factors, it could negatively impact the royalty paid by Yum China to us, which would negatively impact our financial results or our growth prospects.

Our relationship with Yum China is governed primarily by a Master License Agreement, which may be terminated upon the occurrence of certain events, such as the insolvency or bankruptcy of Yum China. In addition, if we are unable to enforce our intellectual property or contract rights in mainland China, if Yum China is unable or unwilling to satisfy its obligations under the Master License Agreement, or if the Master License Agreement is otherwise terminated, it could result in an interruption in the operation of our brands that have been exclusively licensed to Yum China for use in mainland China. Such interruption could cause a delay in, or loss of, royalty income to us, which would negatively impact our financial results.

Our international operations subject us to risks that could negatively affect our business.

A significant portion of our Concepts’ restaurants are operated in countries and territories outside of the U.S., including in emerging markets, and we intend to continue expansion of our international operations. As a result, our business and the businesses of our Concepts’ franchisees are increasingly exposed to risks inherent in international operations. These risks, which can vary substantially by country, include political, financial or social instability or conditions, geopolitical events, corruption, anti-American sentiment, social and ethnic unrest, and terrorism, as well as changes in economic conditions (including consumer spending, unemployment levels and wage and commodity inflation), the regulatory environment (including the risks of operating in developing or emerging markets in which there are significant uncertainties regarding the interpretation and enforceability of legal requirements and the enforceability of contract rights and intellectual property rights), income and non-income based tax rates and laws, the impact of import restrictions or controls, sanctions, foreign exchange control regimes (including restrictions on currency conversion), natural disasters, the impact of labor costs and conditions, consumer preferences and the laws and policies that govern foreign investment in countries where our Concepts’ restaurants are operated. For example, we have been subject to a regulatory enforcement action in India alleging violation of foreign exchange laws for failure to satisfy conditions of certain operating approvals, such as minimum investment and store build requirements
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as well as limitations on the remittance of fees outside of the country (See Note 20). In addition, we and our franchisees do business in jurisdictions that may be subject to trade or economic sanction regimes and such sanctions could be expanded. Any failure to comply with such sanction regimes or other similar laws or regulations could result in the assessment of damages, the imposition of penalties, suspension of business licenses, or a cessation of operations at our or our franchisees’ businesses, as well as damage to our and our Concepts’ brands’ images and reputations, all of which could harm our profitability and growth prospects.

Foreign currency risks and foreign exchange controls could adversely affect our financial results.

Our results of operations and the value of our foreign assets are affected by fluctuations in currency exchange rates, which may adversely affect reported earnings. More specifically, an increase in the value of the U.S. dollar relative to other currencies, such as the Chinese Renminbi (“RMB”), Australian Dollar, the British Pound and the Euro, as well as currencies in certain other markets, such as the Malaysian Ringgit and Russian Ruble, could have an adverse effect on our reported earnings. Any significant fluctuation in the value of currencies of countries in which we or our franchisees operate, and in particular RMB in China, could materially impact the U.S. dollar value of royalty payments made to us, which could result in lower revenues. There can be no assurance as to the future effect of any such changes on our results of operations, financial condition or cash flows. In addition, the governments in certain countries where our Concepts operate, including China, restrict the conversion of local currency into foreign currencies and, in certain cases, the remittance of currency out of the country. Restrictions on the conversion of RMB to U.S. dollars or further restrictions on the remittance of currency out of China could result in delays in the remittance of Yum China’s royalty, which could impact our liquidity.

Risks Related to Technology, Data Privacy and Intellectual Property

Failure to protect the integrity and security of personal information of our customers and employees could result in substantial costs, expose us to litigation and damage our reputation.

We receive and maintain certain personal, financial and other information about our customers, employees, vendors and franchisees. In addition, our vendors and/or franchisees receive and maintain certain personal, financial and other information about our employees and customers. The use and handling, including security, of this information is regulated by evolving and increasingly demanding laws and regulations in various jurisdictions, as well as by certain third-party contracts and industry standards. We have experienced cyber- attacks and security breaches from time to time. The number and frequency of these cyber-attacks and/or security breaches varies between periods but could be exacerbated by an increase in the use of our digital commerce platforms. If our security and information systems are compromised as a result of data corruption or loss, cyber-attack or a network security incident, or if our employees, franchisees or vendors fail to comply with these laws and regulations or fail to meet industry standards and this information is obtained by unauthorized persons or used inappropriately, it could result in liabilities and penalties and could damage our reputation, cause interruption of normal business performance, cause us to incur substantial costs and result in a loss of customer confidence, which could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition. Additionally, we could be subject to litigation and government enforcement actions as a result of any such failure.

Further, data privacy is subject to frequently changing rules and regulations, which sometimes conflict among the various jurisdictions and countries where we, our Concepts and our Concepts’ franchisees do business. For example, the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), which was adopted by the European Union effective May 2018, requires companies to meet new requirements regarding the handling of personal data and is subject to changing requirements, which could increase Company and franchisee resources necessary to comply. In addition, the State of California enacted the California Consumer Privacy Act (the “CCPA”), which became effective January 2020, requiring companies that process information on California residents to, among other things, provide new disclosures and options to consumers about data collection, use and sharing practices. Further, the CCPA has been subject to revision and amendments, including significant modifications made by the California Privacy Rights Act (“CPRA”), which was recently approved by California voters as a ballot initiative in November 2020 and will take effect January 1, 2022. The updates and modifications to the CCPA, as well as requirements under the GDPR may require us to modify our data processing practices and policies and to incur substantial costs and expenses to comply. Moreover, each of the GDPR and the CCPA confer a private right-of-action on certain individuals and associations. Our failure or the failure of our franchisees to adhere to or successfully implement appropriate processes to adhere to the requirements of GDPR, CCPA and other evolving laws and regulations in this area could result in financial penalties, legal liability and could damage our and our Concepts’ brands’ reputations.

In addition, several other states have introduced or passed similar legislation to the CCPA and CPRA which may impose varying standards and requirements on our data collection, use and processing activities. The Federal Trade Commission and many state attorneys general are also interpreting federal and state consumer protection laws to impose standards for the collection, use, dissemination and security of data. Furthermore, various international jurisdictions, where our Concepts have operations, have significantly strengthened their data privacy laws, rules and regulations. If more restrictive or inconsistent
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legal requirements are adopted by international, state and/or federal authorities in the future and/or regulators’ enforcement priorities shift, compliance costs and potential liability could increase for the Company and our Concepts’ franchisees, which could cause reputational harm and have an adverse effect on our business.

Unreliable or inefficient restaurant or consumer-facing technology or the failure to successfully implement technology initiatives in the future could adversely impact operating results and the overall consumer experience.

We and our Concepts’ franchisees rely heavily on information technology systems in the conduct of our business, some of which are managed, hosted, provided and/or used by third parties, including, for example, point-of-sale processing in our restaurants, management of our supply chain, and various other processes and procedures. These systems are subject to damage, interruption or failure due to theft, fire, power outages, telecommunications failure, computer viruses, security breaches, malicious cyber-attacks or other catastrophic events. Certain technology systems may also be unreliable or inefficient, and technology vendors may limit or terminate product support and maintenance, which could impact the reliability of critical systems’ operations. If our or our Concepts’ franchisees’ information technology systems are damaged or fail to function properly, we may incur substantial costs to repair or replace them, and may experience loss of critical data and interruptions or delays in our ability to manage inventories or process transactions, which could result in lost sales, customer or employee dissatisfaction, or negative publicity that could adversely impact our reputation, results of operations and financial condition.

We and our Concepts’ franchisees rely on technology not only to efficiently operate our restaurants but also to drive the customer experience, sales growth and margin improvement. Our continued growth will be dependent on our initiatives to implement proprietary and third-party technology solutions and gather and leverage data to enhance restaurant operations and improve the customer experience. It may be difficult to recruit and retain qualified individuals for these efforts due to intense competition for qualified technology systems’ developers necessary to innovate, develop and implement new technologies for our growth initiatives, including increasing our digital relationship with customers. Our strategic technology initiatives may not be implemented in a timely manner or may not achieve the desired results. Even if we effectively implement and manage our technology initiatives, there is no guarantee that this will result in sales growth or margin improvement. Additionally, developing and implementing the evolving technology demands of the consumer may place a significant financial burden on us and our Concepts’ franchisees, and our Concepts' franchisees may have differing views on investment priorities. Moreover, our failure to adequately invest in new technology or adapt to technological advancements and industry trends, particularly with respect to digital commerce capabilities, could result in a loss of customers and related market share. If our Concepts’ digital commerce platforms do not meet customers’ expectations in terms of security, speed, attractiveness or ease of use, customers may be less inclined to return to such digital commerce platforms, which could negatively impact our business.

There are risks associated with our increasing dependence on digital commerce platforms to maintain and grow sales. Such platforms may experience disruptions, which could harm our ability to compete and conduct our business.

Customers are increasingly using e-commerce websites and apps, both domestically and internationally, such as pizzahut.com, Pizza Hut, KFC, Taco Bell and The Habit Burger Grill apps, as well as apps owned by third-party delivery aggregators and third-party mobile payment processors, to order and pay for our Concepts’ products. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in an increase in the use of store-level or third-party delivery services by our Concepts, and many restaurants in each of our Concepts now offer consumers the ability to have the Concept’s food delivered through third-party delivery services. As a result, our Concepts and our Concepts’ franchisees are increasingly reliant on digital ordering and payment as a sales channel. These digital ordering and payment platforms could be damaged or interrupted by power loss, technological failures, user errors, cyber-attacks, other forms of sabotage, inclement weather or natural disasters. The digital ordering platforms relied upon by our Concepts have experienced interruptions and could experience further interruptions, which could limit or delay customers’ ability to order through such platforms or make customers less inclined to return to such platforms. The rapid acceleration in growth of digital sales has placed additional stress on those platforms that are more reliant upon legacy technology, such as certain platforms used by Pizza Hut, which may result in more frequent and potentially more severe interruptions. Moreover, our reliance on multiple digital commerce platforms to support our global footprint, multiple Concepts and highly franchised business model could increase our vulnerability to cyber-attacks and/or security breaches and could necessitate additional expenditures as we endeavor to consolidate and standardize such platforms.

Yum China, our largest franchisee, utilizes third-party mobile payment apps such as Alipay and WeChat as a means through which to generate sales and process payments. Should customers become unable to access mobile payment apps in China or should the relationship between Yum China and one or more third-party mobile payment processors become interrupted, our results of operations could be negatively impacted. In particular, political tensions between the U.S. and China escalated in 2020, with a number of actions taken by the U.S. government, such as the Clean Network program announced on August 5, 2020, to protect U.S. telecommunication and technology infrastructure, and two executive orders issued by President Trump on August 6, 2020, to ban, within 45 days of such date, any person or property subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S. from any transaction related to WeChat, to the extent that any such transaction is identified by the Secretary of Commerce as being subject to the prohibitions stated in the executive orders. While the directives issued by the Secretary of Commerce arising from
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the executive orders only identified prohibited transactions that are limited to the territory of the U.S. and therefore are not expected to impact Yum China's operations in China, we cannot foresee whether and how similar or additional policy actions taken by the U.S. or Chinese governments will impact our business and financial performance. If Yum China’s ability to use WeChat or other third-party mobile payment apps in its operations is restricted, its business, operations, financial condition and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected, which could have a negative impact on the royalty paid to us.

Our inability or failure to recognize, respond to and effectively manage the accelerated impact of social media could adversely impact our business.

In recent years, there has been a marked increase in the use of social media platforms, including blogs, chat platforms, social media websites, and other forms of Internet-based communications which allow individuals access to a broad audience of consumers and other interested persons. The rising popularity of social media and other consumer-oriented technologies has increased the speed and accessibility of information dissemination and given users the ability to more effectively organize collective actions such as boycotts and other brand-damaging behaviors. Many social media platforms immediately publish the content their subscribers and participants post, often without filters or checks on accuracy of the content posted. Information posted on such platforms at any time may be adverse to our interests and/or may be inaccurate. The dissemination of information online could harm our business, reputation, financial condition, and results of operations, regardless of the information’s accuracy. The damage may be immediate without affording us an opportunity for redress or correction.

In addition, social media is frequently used by our Concepts to communicate with their respective customers and the public in general. Failure by our Concepts to use social media effectively or appropriately, particularly as compared to our Concepts’ respective competitors, could lead to a decline in brand value, customer visits and revenue. In addition, laws and regulations, including Federal Trade Commission enforcement, are rapidly evolving to govern social media platforms and communications. A failure of us, our employees, our franchisees or third parties acting at our direction to abide by applicable laws and regulations in the use of social media could adversely impact our Concepts’ brands, our reputation and our business, or subject us or our franchisees to fines or other penalties. Other risks associated with the use of social media include improper disclosure of proprietary information, negative comments about our Concepts’ brands, exposure of personally identifiable information, fraud, hoaxes or malicious dissemination of false information. The inappropriate use of social media by our customers or employees could increase our costs, lead to litigation or result in negative publicity that could damage our reputation and adversely affect our results of operations.

Failure to protect our service marks or other intellectual property could harm our Concepts’ Brands and overall business.

We regard our registered service marks (e.g., Yum®, KFC®, Pizza Hut®, Taco Bell®, and The Habit®), and other service marks and trademarks related to our restaurant businesses, as having significant value and being important to our marketing efforts. Our service marks and trademarks create brand awareness and help build goodwill among our customers. Thus, we rely on a combination of legal protections provided by contracts, copyrights, patents, trademarks, service marks and other common law rights, such as trade secret and unfair competition laws, to protect our restaurants and services from potential infringement. Many of our trademarks and service marks are registered in the U.S. and/or foreign jurisdictions. However, from time to time we become aware of names and marks identical or confusingly similar to our service marks being used by other persons or companies. Although our policy is to oppose any such infringement, further or unknown unauthorized uses or other misappropriation of our trademarks or service marks could diminish the value of our Concepts’ brands and adversely affect our business and goodwill. In addition, effective intellectual property protection may not be available in every country in which our Concepts have, or may in the future open or franchise, a restaurant and the laws of some foreign countries do not protect intellectual property rights to the same extent as the laws of the U.S. There can be no assurance that the steps we have taken to protect our intellectual property or the legal protections which may be available will be adequate, and defending or enforcing our trademarks, service marks and other intellectual property could result in the expenditure of significant resources or result in significant harm to our business, reputation, financial condition, and overall operations. We may also face claims of infringement that could interfere with the use of the proprietary know-how, recipes, or trade secrets used in our business. Defending against such claims is costly, and we may be prohibited from using such proprietary information in the future or forced to pay damages, royalties, or other fees for using such proprietary information, any of which could negatively affect our business, reputation, financial condition, and results of operations.

Risks Related to Our Supply Chain and Employment

Shortages or interruptions in the availability and delivery of food and other supplies may increase costs or reduce revenues.

The products sold by our Concepts and their franchisees are sourced from a wide variety of domestic and international suppliers although certain products have limited suppliers, which increases our reliance on those suppliers. We, along with our Concepts’ franchisees, are also dependent upon third parties to make frequent deliveries of food products and supplies that meet our specifications at competitive prices. Shortages or interruptions in the supply of food items and other supplies to our
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Concepts’ restaurants have happened from time to time and could adversely affect the availability, quality and cost of items we use and the operations of our restaurants, which in turn could lead to restaurant closures and/or a decrease in sales. Future shortages or disruptions could be caused by inclement weather, natural disasters, pandemics (including the COVID-19 pandemic), inaccurate forecasting of customer demand, problems in production or distribution, restrictions on imports or exports including due to trade disputes or restrictions, the inability of vendors to obtain credit, political instability in the countries in which the suppliers and distributors are located, the financial instability of suppliers and distributors, suppliers’ or distributors’ failure to meet our standards or requirements, transitioning to new suppliers or distributors, product quality issues, inflation, other factors relating to the suppliers and distributors and the countries in which they are located, food safety warnings or advisories or the prospect of such pronouncements, product recalls, the cancellation of supply or distribution agreements or an inability to renew such arrangements or to find replacements on commercially reasonable terms, or other conditions beyond our control or the control of our Concepts’ franchisees.

In addition, in the U.S., the Company and the Company’s KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell franchisee groups are members of Restaurant Supply Chain Solutions, LLC (“RSCS”), which is a third-party responsible for purchasing certain restaurant products and equipment. The Habit Burger Grill entered into a purchasing agreement with RSCS in 2020. McLane Foodservice, Inc. (“McLane”) serves as the largest distributor for the Company’s KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell Concepts in the U.S. Any failure or inability of our significant suppliers or distributors, including RSCS or McLane to meet their respective service requirements, could result in shortages or interruptions in the availability of food and other supplies.

The loss of key personnel, labor shortages or difficulty finding qualified employees could slow our growth, harm our business and reduce our profitability.

Much of our future success depends on the continued availability and service of senior management personnel. The loss of any of our executive officers or other key senior management personnel could harm our business.

In addition, our restaurant operations are highly service-oriented and our success depends in part upon our and our Concepts’ franchisees’ ability to attract, retain and motivate a sufficient number of qualified employees, including franchisee management, restaurant managers and other crew members. The market for qualified employees in the retail food industry is very competitive. Our and our Concepts’ franchisees may experience a shortage of labor for positions in our restaurants, including due to concern over exposure to COVID-19 and other factors that could decrease the pool of available qualified employees for key functions.

Any future inability to recruit and retain qualified individuals may delay our planned use, development or deployment of technology or the planned openings of new restaurants by us and our Concepts’ franchisees which could have a material adverse impact on the operation of our Concepts’ existing restaurants. In addition, strikes, work slowdowns or other job actions may become more common. In the event of a strike, work slowdown or other labor unrest, the ability to adequately staff our Concepts’ restaurants could be impaired, which could result in reduced revenue and customer claims, and may distract our management from focusing on our business and strategic priorities.

Changes in labor and other operating costs could adversely affect our and our franchisees’ results of operations.

An increase in the costs of employee wages, benefits and insurance (including workers’ compensation, general liability, property and health) as well as other operating costs such as rent and energy costs could adversely affect our and our franchisees’ operating results. Such increases in costs could result from general economic or competitive conditions or from government imposition of higher minimum wages at the federal, state or local level, including the potential increase in the federal minimum wage in the U.S. proposed by the new presidential administration. Moreover, there may be a long-term trend toward higher wages in developing markets. Any increase in such operating expenses could adversely affect our and our Concepts’ franchisees’ profit margins. In addition, competition for qualified employees could compel us or our Concepts’ franchisees to pay higher wages to attract or retain key crew members, which could result in higher labor costs and decreased profitability.

An increase in food prices may have an adverse impact on our and our Concepts’ franchisees’ profit margins.

Our and our Concepts’ franchisees’ businesses depend on reliable sources of large quantities of raw materials such as proteins (including poultry, pork, beef and seafood), cheese, oil, flour and vegetables (including potatoes and lettuce). Raw materials purchased for use in our Concepts’ restaurants are subject to price volatility caused by any fluctuation in aggregate supply and demand, or other external conditions, such as weather conditions, or natural events or disasters that affect expected harvests of such raw materials, taxes and tariffs (including as a result of trade disputes), industry demand, food safety concerns, product recalls, governmental regulation and other factors, all of which are beyond our control and in many instances are unpredictable. As a result, the historical prices of raw materials used in the operation of our Concepts’ restaurants have fluctuated. We cannot assure that we or our Concepts’ franchisees will continue to be able to purchase raw materials at reasonable prices, or that the
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cost of raw materials will remain stable in the future. In addition, a significant increase in gasoline prices could result in the imposition of fuel surcharges by our distributors.

Because we and our Concepts’ franchisees provide competitively priced food, we may not have the ability to pass through to our customers the full amount of any commodity price increases. If we and our Concepts’ franchisees are unable to manage the cost of raw materials or to increase the prices of products proportionately, our and our franchisees’ profit margins and return on invested capital may be adversely impacted.

Risks Related to our Concepts’ Brands and Reputation

Our Concepts’ brands may be harmed or diluted through franchisee and third-party activity.

Although we monitor and regulate franchisee activities through our Concepts’ franchise agreements, franchisees or other third parties may refer to or make statements about our Concepts’ brands that do not make proper use of our trademarks or required designations, that improperly alter trademarks or branding, or that are critical of our Concepts’ brands or place our Concepts’ brands in a context that may tarnish their reputation. This may result in dilution of, or harm to, our intellectual property or the value of our Concepts’ brands.

Franchisee noncompliance with the terms and conditions of our franchise agreements may reduce the overall goodwill of our Concepts’ brands, whether through the failure to meet health and safety standards (including with respect to additional sanitation protocols and guidelines in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic), engage in quality control or maintain product consistency, or through the participation in improper or objectionable business practices. Moreover, unauthorized third parties, including our Concepts’ current and former franchisees, may use our intellectual property to trade on the goodwill of our Concepts’ brands, resulting in consumer confusion or brand dilution. Any reduction of our Concepts’ brands’ goodwill, consumer confusion, or brand dilution is likely to impact sales, and could materially and adversely impact our business and results of operations.

Our success depends substantially on our corporate reputation and on the value and perception of our brands.

Our success depends in large part upon our ability and our Concepts’ franchisees’ ability to maintain and enhance our corporate reputation and the value and perception of our brands. Brand value is based in part on consumer perceptions on a variety of subjective qualities. Those perceptions are affected by a variety of factors, including the nutritional content and preparation of our food, the ingredients we use, and the manner in which we source the commodities we use. Consumer acceptance of our offerings is subject to change for a variety of reasons, and some changes can occur rapidly. For example, nutritional, health and other scientific studies and conclusions, which constantly evolve and may have contradictory implications, drive popular opinion, litigation and regulation (including initiatives intended to drive consumer behavior) in ways that may affect perceptions of our Concepts’ brands generally or relative to available alternatives. In addition, the restaurant industry globally has been subject to claims that the menus and practices of restaurant chains have led to customer health issues, including weight gain and other adverse effects. Publicity about these matters (particularly directed at the quick service and fast-casual segments of the retail food industry) may harm our Concepts’ reputations and adversely affect our business. Moreover, these types of claims could lead to an increase in the regulation of the content or marketing of our products, including legislation or regulation seeking to tax and/or regulate high-fat foods, foods with high sugar and salt content, or foods otherwise deemed to be “unhealthy,” which could in turn increase costs of compliance and remediation to us and our franchisees.

In addition, business or other incidents, whether isolated or recurring, and whether originating from us, our Concepts’ restaurants, franchisees, competitors, governments, suppliers or distributors, can significantly reduce brand value and consumer perception, particularly if the incidents receive considerable publicity or result in litigation or investigations. Moreover, our success depends in large part upon our ability to maintain our corporate reputation. For example, the reputation of our Concepts’ brands could be damaged by claims or perceptions about the quality or safety of our products or the quality or reputation of our suppliers, distributors or franchisees or by claims or perceptions that we, founders of our Concepts, our Concepts’ franchisees or other business partners have acted or are acting in an unethical, illegal, racially-biased or socially irresponsible manner or are not fostering an inclusive and diverse environment, regardless of whether such claims or perceptions are true. Our corporate reputation could also suffer from negative publicity or consumer sentiment regarding Company action or brand imagery, a real or perceived failure of corporate governance, or misconduct by any Company officer or any employee or representative of us or a franchisee. For example, entities in our supply chain may engage in conduct, including alleged human rights abuses or environmental wrongdoing, and any such conduct could damage our or our Concepts’ brands’ reputations. Any such incidents (even if resulting from actions of a competitor or franchisee) could cause a decline directly or indirectly in consumer confidence in, or the perception of, our Concepts’ brands and/or our products and reduce consumer demand for our products, which would likely result in lower revenues and profits.

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There has been an increased public focus, including from U.S. and foreign governmental and nongovernmental authorities, on environmental sustainability matters, including with respect to climate change, greenhouse gases, water resources, packaging and waste, animal health and welfare, deforestation and land use. We endeavor to conduct our business in a manner which reflects our priority of sustainable stewardship, including with respect to environmental sustainability matters, and we are working to manage the risks and costs to us, our franchisees and our supply chain associated with these types of environmental sustainability matters. In addition, as the result of such heightened public focus on environmental sustainability matters, we may face increased pressure to provide expanded disclosure, make or expand commitments, set targets, or establish additional goals and take actions to meet such goals, in connection with such environmental sustainability matters. These matters and our efforts to address them could expose us to market, operational, reputational and execution costs or risks.

Risks Related to Government Regulation and Litigation

We could be party to litigation that could adversely affect us by increasing our expenses, diverting management attention or subjecting us to significant monetary damages and other remedies.

We are regularly involved in legal proceedings, which include regulatory claims or disputes, consumer, personal injury, claims from franchisees employment, real estate related, tort, intellectual property, breach of contract, securities, derivative and other litigation. See the discussion of legal proceedings in Note 20 to the Consolidated Financial Statements included in Item 8 of this Form 10-K. Plaintiffs in these types of lawsuits often seek recovery of very large or indeterminate amounts, and these types of lawsuits are subject to inherent uncertainties (some of which are beyond the Company’s control). Unfavorable rulings or developments may also occur. In addition, the restaurant industry globally has been subject to claims that relate to the nutritional content of food products, as well as claims that the menus and practices of restaurant chains have led to customer health issues, including weight gain and other adverse effects, and we may become subject to such claims in the future. Moreover, regardless of whether any such lawsuits have merit, or whether we are ultimately held liable or settle, such litigation may be expensive to defend, may divert resources and management attention away from our operations, and may negatively impact our results of operations. With respect to insured claims, a judgment for monetary damages in excess of any insurance coverage could adversely affect our financial condition or results of operations. Any adverse publicity resulting from these allegations may also adversely affect our Concepts’ reputations, which in turn could adversely affect our results of operations.

Changes in, or noncompliance with, governmental regulations may adversely affect our business operations, growth prospects or financial condition.

The Company, and our Concepts and their franchisees, are subject to numerous laws and regulations around the world. These laws and regulations change regularly and are increasingly complex. For example, we are subject to:

The Americans with Disabilities Act in the U.S. and similar state laws that provide protection to individuals with disabilities in the context of employment, public accommodations and other areas.
The U.S. Fair Labor Standards Act, which governs matters such as minimum wages, and overtime, and the Family and Medical Leave Act as well as a variety of similar state laws which provide protected leave rights to employees.
Federal and state employment laws related to workplace health and safety, non-discrimination, non-harassment, whistleblower protections, and other terms and conditions of employment.
Laws and regulations in government-mandated health care benefits such as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in the U.S.
Laws and regulations relating to nutritional content, nutritional labeling, product safety, product marketing and menu labeling.
Uncertainties and effects of laws and regulations associated with the implementation of the UK’s withdrawal of membership from the European Union (referred to as “Brexit”), including those relating to tax and trade.
Laws relating to state and local licensing.
Laws relating to the relationship between franchisors and franchisees.
Laws and regulations relating to health, sanitation, food, workplace safety, child labor, including laws regulating the use of certain “hazardous equipment”, building and zoning, and fire safety and prevention.
Laws and regulations relating to union organizing rights and activities, such as the proposed Protecting the Right to Organize Act (the “PRO Act”) in the U.S.
Laws relating to information security, privacy (including the European Union’s GDPR and California’s CCPA and CPRA), cashless payments, and consumer protection.
Laws relating to currency conversion or exchange.
Laws relating to international trade and sanctions.
Tax laws and regulations.
Anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws.
Environmental laws and regulations, including with respect to climate change.
Federal and state immigration laws and regulations in the U.S.
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Regulations, health guidelines and safety protocols related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Compliance with new or existing laws and regulations could impact our or our Concepts’ franchisees’ operations. The compliance costs associated with these laws and regulations could be substantial. In addition, if any governmental authority were to adopt and implement a broader standard for determining when two or more otherwise unrelated employers may be found to be a joint employer of the same employees under laws such as the National Labor Relations Act in a manner that is applied generally to franchise relationships (which broader standards in the past have been adopted by U.S. governmental agencies such as the National Labor Relations Board), this could cause us or our Concepts to be liable or held responsible for unfair labor practices and other violations and could subject our Concepts to other liabilities, and/or require our Concepts to conduct collective bargaining negotiations, regarding employees of totally separate, independent employers, most notably our Concepts’ franchisees. Further, a California law enacted in 2019 adopted an employment classification test to be used when determining employee or independent contractor status which establishes a high threshold to obtain independent contractor status. The proposed federal PRO Act under review by Congress in the U.S. could have similar effects in addition to weakening state “right to work” laws, which could result in increased labor disputes and costs borne by our franchisees and us. These laws and any similar laws enacted at the federal, state or local level, could increase our and our franchisees’ labor costs and decrease profitability or could cause employees of our franchisees to be deemed employees of our Concepts.

Any failure or alleged failure to comply with applicable laws or regulations could adversely affect our reputation, international expansion efforts, growth prospects and financial results or result in, among other things, litigation, revocation of required licenses, internal investigations, governmental investigations or proceedings, administrative enforcement actions, fines and civil and criminal liability. Publicity relating to any such noncompliance could also harm our Concepts’ reputations and adversely affect our revenues.

Failure to comply with anti-bribery or anti-corruption laws could adversely affect our business operations.

The U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the UK Bribery Act and other similar applicable laws prohibiting bribery of government officials and other corrupt practices are the subject of increasing emphasis and enforcement around the world. There can be no assurance that our employees, contractors, agents, franchisees or other third parties will not take actions in violation of our policies or applicable law, particularly as we expand our operations in emerging markets and elsewhere. Any such violations or suspected violations could subject us to civil or criminal penalties, including substantial fines and significant investigation costs, and could also materially damage our reputation, brands, international expansion efforts and growth prospects, business and operating results. Publicity relating to any noncompliance or alleged noncompliance could also harm our Concepts’ reputations and adversely affect our revenues and results of operations.

Tax matters, including changes in tax rates or laws, disagreements with taxing authorities, imposition of new taxes and our restructurings could impact our results of operations and financial condition.

We are subject to income taxes as well as non-income based taxes, such as payroll, sales, use, value-added, net worth, property, withholding and franchise taxes in both the U.S. and various foreign jurisdictions. We are also subject to ongoing and/or regular reviews, examinations and audits by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) and other taxing authorities with respect to such income and non-income based taxes inside and outside of the U.S. Our accruals for tax liabilities are based on past experience, interpretations of applicable law, and judgments about potential actions by tax authorities, but such accruals require significant judgment which may be incorrect and may result in payments greater than the amounts accrued. If the IRS or another taxing authority disagrees with our tax positions, we could face additional tax liabilities, including interest and penalties. Payment of additional amounts upon final settlement or adjudication of any disputes could have a material impact on our results of operations and financial position.

In addition, we are directly and indirectly affected by new tax laws and regulation and the interpretation of tax laws and regulations worldwide. Changes in laws, regulation or interpretation of existing laws and regulations in the U.S. and other jurisdictions where we are subject to taxation could increase our taxes and have an adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition. Changes in tax laws or regulations may arise as a result of tax policies proposed by the recently elected U.S. presidential administration. Changes in tax laws may also arise as a result of tax policy guidance issued by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (“OECD”), a coalition of member nations including the United States. The OECD guidance, referred to as the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (“BEPS”) Action Plan, does not have the force of law, but certain countries may enact tax legislation, modify tax treaties, and/or increase audit scrutiny based on the BEPS guidance. To the extent BEPS principles are adopted by major jurisdictions in which we or our Concepts operate, it could increase our taxes and have a material adverse impact on our results of operations and financial position. We have in the past and may in the future adapt our entity and operating structure in response to and in compliance with changes in tax laws, regulations, or interpretation of existing laws and regulations. Such restructurings could result in material incremental tax costs associated with restructuring transactions or operations of the structure. In addition, public perception that we are not paying a sufficient amount of taxes could damage our Concepts’ reputations, which could harm our profitability.
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Risks Related to the Yum China Spin-Off

The Yum China spin-off and certain related transactions could result in substantial U.S. tax liability.

We received opinions of outside counsel substantially to the effect that, for U.S. federal income tax purposes, the Yum China spin-off and certain related transactions qualified as generally tax-free under Sections 355 and 361 of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. The opinions relied on various facts and assumptions, as well as certain representations as to factual matters and undertakings (including with respect to future conduct) made by Yum China and us. If any of these facts, assumptions, representations or undertakings are incorrect or not satisfied, we may not be able to rely on these opinions of outside counsel. Accordingly, notwithstanding receipt of the opinions of outside counsel, the conclusions reached in the tax opinions may be challenged by the IRS. Because the opinions are not binding on the IRS or the courts, there can be no assurance that the IRS or the courts will not prevail in any such challenge.

If, notwithstanding receipt of any opinion, the IRS were to conclude that the Yum China spin-off was taxable, in general, we would recognize taxable gain as if we had sold the Yum China common stock in a taxable sale for its fair market value. In addition, each U.S. holder of our Common Stock who received shares of Yum China common stock in connection with the spin-off transaction would generally be treated as having received a taxable distribution of property in an amount equal to the fair market value of the shares of Yum China common stock received. That distribution would be taxable to each such U.S. stockholder as a dividend to the extent of our current and accumulated earnings and profits. For each such U.S. stockholder, any amount that exceeded our earnings and profits would be treated first as a non-taxable return of capital to the extent of such stockholder’s tax basis in our shares of Common Stock with any remaining amount being taxed as a capital gain.

The Yum China spin-off may be subject to China indirect transfer tax.

In February 2015, the Chinese State Administration of Taxation (“SAT”) issued the Bulletin on Several Issues of Enterprise Income Tax on Income Arising from Indirect Transfers of Property by Non-resident Enterprises (“Bulletin 7”). Pursuant to Bulletin 7, an “indirect transfer” of Chinese taxable assets, including equity interests in a China resident enterprise (“Chinese interests”), by a non-resident enterprise, may be recharacterized and treated as a direct transfer of Chinese taxable assets, if such arrangement does not have reasonable commercial purpose and the transferor has avoided payment of Chinese enterprise income tax. Using general anti-tax avoidance provisions, the SAT may treat an indirect transfer as a direct transfer of Chinese interests if the transfer has avoided Chinese tax by way of an arrangement without reasonable commercial purpose. As a result, gains derived from such indirect transfer may be subject to Chinese enterprise income tax, and the transferee or other person who is obligated to pay for the transfer would be obligated to withhold the applicable taxes, currently at a rate of up to 10% of the capital gain in the case of an indirect transfer of equity interests in a China resident enterprise.

We evaluated the potential applicability of Bulletin 7 in connection with the Separation in the form of a tax free restructuring and believe it is more likely than not that Bulletin 7 does not apply. We believe that the restructuring has reasonable commercial purpose.

However, there are significant uncertainties regarding what constitutes a reasonable commercial purpose, how the safe harbor provisions for group restructurings are to be interpreted and how the Chinese tax authorities will ultimately view the spin-off. As a result, our position could be challenged by the Chinese tax authorities resulting in a tax at a rate of 10% assessed on the difference between the fair market value and the tax basis of Yum China. As our tax basis in Yum China was minimal, the amount of such a tax could be significant and have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and our financial condition.

Risks Related to Consumer Discretionary Spending and Macroeconomic Conditions

Our business may be adversely impacted by changes in consumer discretionary spending and economic conditions in the U.S. and international markets.

As a restaurant company dependent upon consumer discretionary spending, we (and our franchisees) are sensitive to changes in or uncertainty regarding macroeconomic conditions in the U.S. and in other regions of the world where our Concepts and Concepts’ franchisees operate. Some of the factors that impact discretionary consumer spending include unemployment and underemployment rates, fluctuations in the level of disposable income, the price of gasoline and other inflationary pressures, stock market performance and changes in the level of consumer confidence. These and other macroeconomic factors could have an adverse effect on our or our franchisees’ sales, profitability or development plans, which could harm our financial condition and operating results. In this regard, we and our franchisees have been adversely impacted by, and may continue to be adversely impacted by, ongoing negative macroeconomic conditions in the U.S. and other regions of the world where our Concepts and Concepts’ franchisees operate arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, including elevated unemployment and underemployment levels, and decreased consumer spending and consumer confidence, In addition, our business in the U.S. and
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international regions could be adversely impacted by various factors (which may be beyond our control), including natural disasters, geopolitical events, terrorism, political, financial or social instability, terrorism, boycott, social unrest, or other events that lead to avoidance of public places or restrictions on public gatherings such as in our and our franchisees’ restaurants.

Risks Related to Competition

The retail food industry is highly competitive.

Our Concepts’ restaurants compete with international, national and regional restaurant chains as well as locally-owned restaurants, and the retail food industry in which our Concepts operate is highly competitive with respect to price and quality of food products, new product development, digital engagement, advertising levels and promotional initiatives (including the frequent use by our competitors of price discounting, such as through value meal menu options, coupons and other methods), customer service, reputation, restaurant location, and attractiveness and maintenance of properties. In addition, our Concepts compete within the retail food industry for management and hourly personnel, suitable real estate sites, and qualified franchisees. If consumer or dietary preferences change, if our marketing efforts and/or launch of new products are unsuccessful, or if our Concepts’ restaurants are unable to compete successfully with other retail food outlets in new and existing markets, our and our franchisees’ businesses could be adversely affected. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a disruption of consumer routines, the implementation of employer “work-from-home” policies, reduced business and recreational travel and changes in consumer behavior, and it is difficult to fully assess the impacts of such developments on us or our Concepts, or the extent to which any such consumer patterns may continue after the COVID-19 pandemic has ended. We also face growing competition as a result of convergence in grocery, convenience, deli and restaurant services, including the offering by the grocery industry of convenient meals, including pizzas and entrees with side dishes. Competition from delivery aggregators and other food delivery services has increased in recent years, particularly in urbanized areas, and this trend, which has accelerated following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, is expected to continue to increase. Increased competition could have an adverse effect on sales, profitability or development plans, which could harm our or our franchisees’ financial condition and operating results.

Risks Related to Our Indebtedness

Our substantial indebtedness makes us more sensitive to adverse economic conditions, may limit our ability to plan for or respond to significant changes in our business, and requires a significant amount of cash to service our debt payment obligations that we may be unable to generate or obtain.

As of December 31, 2020, our total outstanding short-term borrowings and long-term debt was approximately $10.8 billion. Subject to the limits contained in the agreements governing our outstanding indebtedness, we may incur additional debt from time to time, which would increase the risks related to our high level of indebtedness.

Specifically, our high level of indebtedness could have important potential consequences, including, but not limited to:

increasing our vulnerability to, and reducing our flexibility to plan for and respond to, adverse economic and industry conditions and changes in our business and the competitive environment, including ongoing adverse economic conditions arising from the COVID-19 pandemic;
requiring the dedication of a substantial portion of our cash flow from operations to the payment of principal of, and interest on, indebtedness, thereby reducing the availability of such cash flow to fund working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions, dividends, share repurchases or other corporate purposes;
increasing our vulnerability to a downgrade of our credit rating, which could adversely affect our cost of funds, liquidity and access to capital markets;
restricting us from making strategic acquisitions or causing us to make non-strategic divestitures;
placing us at a disadvantage compared to other less leveraged competitors or competitors with comparable debt at more favorable interest rates;
increasing our exposure to the risk of increased interest rates insofar as current and future borrowings are subject to variable rates of interest;
increasing our exposure to the risk of discontinuance, replacement or modification of certain reference rates, including as the result of the upcoming discontinuance of LIBOR, which are used to calculate applicable interest rates of our indebtedness and certain derivative instruments that hedge interest rate risk;
making it more difficult for us to repay, refinance or satisfy our obligations with respect to our debt;
limiting our ability to borrow additional funds in the future and increasing the cost of any such borrowing;
imposing restrictive covenants on our operations as the result of the terms of our indebtedness, which, if not complied with, could result in an event of default, which in turn, if not cured or waived, could result in the acceleration of the applicable debt, and may result in the acceleration of any other debt to which a cross-acceleration or cross-default provision applies; and
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increasing our exposure to risks related to fluctuations in foreign currency as we earn profits in a variety of currencies around the world and our debt is primarily denominated in U.S. dollars.

There is no assurance that we will generate cash flow from operations or that future debt or equity financings will be available to us to enable us to pay our indebtedness or to fund other liquidity needs. If conditions related to the COVID-19 pandemic result in significant disruptions to capital and financial markets, our cost of borrowing, our ability to access capital on favorable terms and our overall liquidity could be adversely impacted. If our business does not generate sufficient cash flow from operations or if future borrowings are not available to us in amounts sufficient to pay our indebtedness or to fund other liquidity needs, our financial condition and results of operations may be adversely affected. As a result, we may need to refinance all or a portion of our indebtedness on or before maturity. There is no assurance that we will be able to refinance any of our indebtedness on favorable terms, or at all. Any inability to generate sufficient cash flow or refinance our indebtedness on favorable terms could have a material adverse effect on our business and financial condition.

Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments.

The Company has received no written comments regarding its periodic or current reports from the staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission that were issued 180 days or more preceding the end of its 2020 fiscal year and that remain unresolved.

Item 2. Properties.

As of year end 2020, the Company’s Concepts owned land, building or both for 333 restaurants worldwide in connection with the operation of our 1,098 Company-owned restaurants.  These restaurants are further detailed as follows:

The KFC Division owned land, building or both for 70 restaurants.
The Pizza Hut Division owned land, building or both for 3 restaurants.
The Taco Bell Division owned land, building or both for 260 restaurants.

The Company currently also owns land, building or both related to approximately 500 franchise restaurants and leases land, building or both related to approximately 350 franchise restaurants, not included in the property counts above, that it leases or subleases to franchisees, principally in the U.S., United Kingdom, Australia and Germany.

Company-owned restaurants in the U.S. with leases are generally leased for initial terms of 10 to 20 years and generally have renewal options. Company-owned restaurants outside the U.S. with leases have initial lease terms and renewal options that vary by country. 

The KFC Division and Pizza Hut Division corporate headquarters and a KFC and Pizza Hut research facility in Plano, Texas are owned by Pizza Hut. Taco Bell leases its corporate headquarters and research facility in Irvine, California. The YUM corporate headquarters and a KFC research facility in Louisville, Kentucky are owned by KFC. The Habit Burger Grill Division leases its corporate headquarters in Irvine, California. Additional information about the Company’s properties is included in the Consolidated Financial Statements in Part II, Item 8.

The Company believes that its properties are generally in good operating condition and are suitable for the purposes for which they are being used.

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Item 3.
Legal Proceedings.

The Company is subject to various lawsuits covering a variety of allegations. The Company believes that the ultimate liability, if any, in excess of amounts already provided for these matters in the Consolidated Financial Statements, is not likely to have a material adverse effect on the Company’s annual results of operations, financial condition or cash flows. Matters faced by the Company include, but are not limited to, claims from franchisees, suppliers, employees, customers, governments and others related to operational, foreign exchange, tax, franchise, contractual or employment issues as well as claims that the Company has infringed on third-party intellectual property rights. In addition, the Company brings claims from time-to-time relating to infringement of, or challenges to, our intellectual property, including registered marks. Finally, as a publicly-traded company, disputes arise from time-to-time with our shareholders, including allegations that the Company breached federal securities laws or that officers and/or directors breached fiduciary duties. Descriptions of significant current specific claims and contingencies appear in Note 20, Contingencies, to the Consolidated Financial Statements included in Part II, Item 8, which is incorporated by reference into this item.
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures.

Not applicable.

Executive Officers of the Registrant.

The executive officers of the Company as of February 19, 2021, and their ages and current positions as of that date are as follows:

David Gibbs, 57, is Chief Executive Officer of YUM a position he has held since January 2020. Prior to that, he served as President and Chief Operating Officer from August 2019 to December 2019, as President, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer from January 2019 to August 2019 and as President and Chief Financial Officer from May 2016 to December 2018. Prior to these positions, he served as Chief Executive Officer of Pizza Hut Division from January 2015 to April 2016. From January 2014 to December 2014, Mr. Gibbs served as President of Pizza Hut U.S. Prior to this position, Mr. Gibbs served as President and Chief Financial Officer of Yum! Restaurants International, Inc. (“YRI”) from May 2012 through December 2013. Mr. Gibbs served as Chief Financial Officer of YRI from January 2011 to April 2012. He was Chief Financial Officer of Pizza Hut U.S. from September 2005 to December 2010.

Scott Catlett, 44, is Chief Legal and Franchise Officer and Corporate Secretary of YUM. He has served in this position since July 2020. Prior to that, he served as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of YUM from July 2018 to June 2020 and he served as Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of YUM from November 2015 to June 2018. From September 2007 to October 2015 Mr. Catlett held various YUM positions including Vice President & Associate General Counsel.

Mark King, 61, is Chief Executive Officer of Taco Bell Division, a position he has held since August 2019. Before joining YUM, Mr. King served as President, adidas Group North America from June 2014 to June 2018 and as Chief Executive Officer of TaylorMade-adidas Golf from 2003 to 2014.

Tony Lowings, 62, is Chief Executive Officer of KFC Division, a position he has held since January 2019. Prior to that, he served as President and Chief Operations Officer of KFC Division from August 2018 to December 2018. From November 2016 to July 2018 he served as Managing Director of Asia-Pacific and from February 2013 to October 2016 as Managing Director of KFC SOPAC (Australia and New Zealand). Mr. Lowings served in various positions including Chief Operations Officer of YRI and Managing Director of Latin America and the Caribbean for KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell and General Manager of KFC and Pizza Hut in Australia and New Zealand from January 2010 to January 2013.

David Russell, 51, is Senior Vice President, Finance and Corporate Controller of YUM. He has served as YUM's Corporate Controller since February 2011 and as Senior Vice President, Finance since February 2017. Prior to serving as Corporate Controller, Mr. Russell served in various positions at the Vice President level in the YUM Finance Department, including Controller-Designate from November 2010 to February 2011 and Vice President, Assistant Controller from January 2008 to December 2010.

Tracy Skeans, 48, is Chief Operating Officer and Chief People Officer of YUM. She has served as Chief Operating Officer since January 2021 and Chief People Officer since January 2016. She also served as Chief Transformation Officer from November 2016 to December 2020. From January 2015 to December 2015, she was President of Pizza Hut International. Prior to this position, Ms. Skeans served as Chief People Officer of Pizza Hut Division from December 2013 to December 2014 and
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Chief People Officer of Pizza Hut U.S. from October 2011 to November 2013. From July 2009 to September 2011, she served as Director of Human Resources for Pizza Hut U.S and was on the Pizza Hut U.S. Finance team from September 2000 to June 2009.

Arthur Starrs, 44, is Chief Executive Officer of Pizza Hut Division, a position he has held since August 2019. He served as President of Pizza Hut U.S. from May 2016 to July 2019 and he served as General Manager and Chief Financial Officer of Pizza Hut U.S. from November 2013 to April 2016.

Christopher Turner, 46, is Chief Financial Officer of YUM, a position he has held since August 2019. Before joining YUM, he served as Senior Vice President and General Manager in PepsiCo’s retail and e-commerce businesses with Walmart in the U.S. and more than 25 countries and across PepsiCo’s brands from December 2017 to July 2019. Prior to leading PepsiCo’s Walmart business, he served in various positions including Senior Vice President of Transformation for PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay North America business from July 2017 to December 2017 and Senior Vice President of Strategy for Frito-Lay from February 2016 to June 2017. Prior to joining PepsiCo, he was a partner in the Dallas office of McKinsey & Company, a strategic management consulting firm.

Executive officers are elected by and serve at the discretion of the Board of Directors.
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PART II

Item 5. Market for the Registrant’s Common Stock, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities.

Market Information and Dividend Policy

The Company’s Common Stock trades under the symbol YUM and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange ("NYSE").  

As of February 12, 2021, there were 39,395 registered holders of record of the Company’s Common Stock.

In 2020, the Company declared and paid four cash dividends of $0.47 per share. Future decisions to pay cash dividends continue to be at the discretion of the Board of Directors and will be dependent on our operating performance, financial condition, capital expenditure requirements and other factors that the Board of Directors considers relevant.

Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

The following table provides information as of December 31, 2020, with respect to shares of Common Stock repurchased by the Company during the quarter then ended.

Fiscal Periods Total number
of shares
purchased
(thousands)
Average price
paid per share
Total number of shares
purchased as part of
publicly announced plans
or programs
(thousands)
Approximate dollar value
of shares that may yet be
purchased under the plans
or programs
(millions)
10/1/20 - 10/31/20 160 $ 93.48  160 $ 1,985 
11/1/20- 11/30/20 1,224 $ 101.49  1,224 $ 1,861 
12/1/20 - 12/31/20 1,034 $ 107.10  1,034 $ 1,750 
Total 2,418 2,418

On November 21, 2019, our Board of Directors authorized share repurchases through June 2021 of up to $2 billion (excluding applicable transaction fees) of our outstanding Common Stock. As of December 31, 2020, we have remaining capacity to repurchase up to $1.75 billion of Common Stock under this authorization.


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Stock Performance Graph

This graph compares the cumulative total return of our Common Stock to the cumulative total return of the S&P 500 Index and the S&P 500 Consumer Discretionary Sector Index, a peer group that includes YUM, for the period from December 31, 2015 to December 31, 2020. The graph assumes that the value of the investment in our Common Stock and each index was $100 at December 31, 2015, and that all cash dividends were reinvested.

YUM-20201231_G1.JPG
12/31/2015 12/30/2016 12/29/2017 12/31/2018 12/31/2019 12/31/2020
YUM $ 100  $ 123  $ 162  $ 185  $ 207  $ 227 
S&P 500 $ 100  $ 112  $ 136  $ 130  $ 171  $ 203 
S&P Consumer Discretionary $ 100  $ 106  $ 130  $ 131  $ 168  $ 224 

Source of total return data: Bloomberg
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Item 6. Selected Financial Data.
Selected Financial Data
Yum! Brands, Inc. and Subsidiaries
(in millions, except per share and unit amounts)
2020 2019 2018 2017 2016
Income Statement Data
Revenues
Company sales $ 1,810  $ 1,546  $ 2,000  $ 3,572  $ 4,189 
Franchise and property revenues 2,510  2,660  2,482  2,306  2,167 
Franchise contributions for advertising and other services 1,332  1,391  1,206  —  — 
Total 5,652  5,597  5,688  5,878  6,356 
Refranchising (gain) loss (34) (37) (540) (1,083) (163)
Operating Profit 1,503  1,930  2,296  2,761  1,682 
Investment (income) expense, net (74) 67  (9) (5) (2)
Other pension (income) expense 14  14  47  32 
Interest expense, net 543  486  452  445  307 
Income from continuing operations before income taxes 1,020  1,373  1,839  2,274  1,345 
Income from continuing operations 904  1,294  1,542  1,340  1,018 
Income from discontinued operations, net of tax N/A N/A N/A N/A 625 
Net Income 904  1,294  1,542  1,340  1,643 
Basic earnings per share from continuing operations 2.99  4.23  4.80  3.86  2.58 
Basic earnings per share from discontinued operations N/A N/A N/A N/A 1.59 
Basic earnings per share 2.99  4.23  4.80  3.86  4.17 
Diluted earnings per share from continuing operations 2.94  4.14  4.69  3.77  2.54 
Diluted earnings per share from discontinued operations N/A N/A N/A N/A 1.56 
Diluted earnings per share 2.94  4.14  4.69  3.77  4.10 
Diluted earnings per share from continuing operations excluding Special Items 3.62  3.55  3.17  2.96  2.46 
Cash Flow Data
Provided by operating activities $ 1,305  $ 1,315  $ 1,176  $ 1,030  $ 1,248 
Capital spending 160  196  234  318  427 
Proceeds from refranchising of restaurants 19  110  825  1,773  370 
Repurchase shares of Common Stock 239  815  2,390  1,960  5,403 
Dividends paid on Common Stock 566  511  462  416  744 
Balance Sheet Data
Total assets $ 5,852  $ 5,231  $ 4,130  $ 5,311  $ 5,453 
Long-term debt 10,272  10,131  9,751  9,429  9,059 
Total debt 10,725  10,562  10,072  9,804  9,125 
Other Data
Number of units at year end
 Franchise 49,255  49,257  47,268  43,603  40,834 
 Company 1,098  913  856  1,481  2,841 
 System 50,353  50,170  48,124  45,084  43,675 
System net new unit growth —  % % % % %
System and same-store sales
KFC Division System sales
$ 26,289  $ 27,900  $ 26,239  $ 24,515  $ 23,242 
System sales growth (decline) (6) % % % % %
System sales growth, ex FX and 53rd week (5) % % % % %
Same-store sales growth (9) % % % % %
Pizza Hut Division System sales
$ 11,955  $ 12,900  $ 12,212  $ 12,034  $ 12,019 
System sales growth (decline) (7) % % % —  % —  %
System sales growth, ex FX and 53rd week (6) % % % % %
Same-store sales growth (decline) (6) % —  % —  % —  % (2  %)
Taco Bell Division System sales
$ 11,745  $ 11,784  $ 10,786  $ 10,145  $ 9,660 
System sales growth —  % % % % %
System sales growth, ex FX and 53rd week % % % % %
Same-store sales growth (1) % % % % %
Shares outstanding at year end 300  300  306  332  355 
Cash dividends declared per common share $ 1.88  $ 1.68  $ 1.44  $ 0.90  $ 1.73 
Market price per share at year end $ 108.56  $ 100.73  $ 91.92  $ 81.61  $ 63.33 

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The table above reflects the impact of the adoption of new lease accounting standards in fiscal year 2019 and the impact of the adoption of new revenue recognition accounting standards in fiscal year 2018.

System sales growth and unit growth measures in 2020 reflect the addition of 276 units through our acquisition of The Habit Restaurants, Inc. in March 2020. System sales growth measures in 2019 and System unit growth in 2018 reflect the addition of approximately 1,300 Telepizza units in December 2018. See additional discussion of the acquisition of The Habit Restaurants, Inc. and the Telepizza strategic alliance within our MD&A.

Fiscal years for our U.S. and certain international subsidiaries that operate on a weekly periodic calendar include 52 weeks in 2020, 2018 and 2017 and 53 weeks in 2019 and 2016. Refer to Note 2 in our Consolidated Financial Statements for additional details related to our fiscal calendar, including the impact of the 53rd week on our results in 2019. In 2019, the 53rd week added $24 million to Operating Profit. In 2016, the 53rd week added $28 million to Operating Profit.

Discontinued operations in 2016 reflects the spin-off of our China business into an independent, publicly-traded company (the "Separation").

The non-GAAP measure of Diluted earnings per share from continuing operations excluding Special Items is discussed in further detail in our MD&A within Part II, Item 7.

System sales growth, System sales growth excluding the impacts of foreign currency translation ("FX") and 53rd week, Same-store sales growth and System net new unit growth are performance metrics and discussed in further detail in our MD&A within Part II, Item 7.

See discussion of our 2020, 2019 and 2018 Special Items in our MD&A. Special Items in 2017 positively impacted Operating Profit by $1,001 million and positively impacted Net Income by $288 million, primarily due to $1,083 million in Refranchising gains, partially offset by $31 million in costs associated with the Pizza Hut U.S. Transformation Agreement, $23 million in costs associated with YUM's Strategic Transformation Initiatives, $18 million in share-based compensation charges related to the Separation, $17 million in costs associated with the KFC U.S. Acceleration Agreement, $434 million recognized in our Income tax provision as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and a $23 million charge within Other Pension (income) expense primarily due to an adjustment of certain historical deferred vested pension liability balances as a result of the completion of a pension data review and reconciliation. Special Items in 2016 positively impacted Operating Profit by $35 million and positively impacted Net Income by $33 million, primarily due to $163 million in Refranchising gains, partially offset by $67 million in costs associated with YUM's Strategic Transformation Initiatives, $30 million in share-based compensation charges related to the Separation, $26 million in costs associated with the KFC Acceleration Agreement and $26 million incurred within Other Pension (income) expense primarily due to a settlement charge associated with an option for certain employees to voluntarily elect an early payout of their pension benefits.

Selected financial data for year 2016 have been recast from that originally presented to present a change in our reporting calendar and the retroactive adoption of an accounting standard related to the presentation of net periodic pension cost and net periodic postretirement benefit cost.

The selected financial data should be read in conjunction with the Consolidated Financial Statements.


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Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.

Introduction and Overview

The following Management’s Discussion and Analysis (“MD&A”), should be read in conjunction with the Consolidated Financial Statements (“Financial Statements”) in Item 8 and the Forward-Looking Statements and the Risk Factors set forth in Item 1A.  All Note references herein refer to the Notes to the Financial Statements. Tabular amounts are displayed in millions of U.S. dollars except per share and unit count amounts, or as otherwise specifically identified. Percentages may not recompute due to rounding.

Yum! Brands, Inc. and its subsidiaries (collectively referred to herein as the "Company", “YUM”, "we", "us" or "our") franchise or operate a system of over 50,000 restaurants in more than 150 countries and territories, primarily under the concepts of KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and The Habit Burger Grill (collectively, the "Concepts"). The Company's KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell brands are global leaders of the chicken, pizza and Mexican-style food categories, respectively.  The Habit Burger Grill, a concept we acquired on March 18, 2020, is a fast-casual restaurant concept specializing in made-to-order chargrilled burgers, sandwiches and more. Of the over 50,000 restaurants, 98% are operated by franchisees.

As of December 31, 2020, YUM consists of four operating segments:

The KFC Division which includes our worldwide operations of the KFC concept
The Pizza Hut Division which includes our worldwide operations of the Pizza Hut concept
The Taco Bell Division which includes our worldwide operations of the Taco Bell concept
The Habit Burger Grill Division which includes our worldwide operations of the Habit Burger Grill concept

Through our Recipe for Growth and Good we intend to unlock the growth potential of our Concepts and YUM, drive increased collaboration across our Concepts and geographies and consistently deliver better customer experiences, improved unit economics and higher rates of growth. Key enablers include accelerated use of technology and better leverage of our systemwide scale.

Our Recipe for Growth is based on four key drivers:
Unrivaled Culture and Talent: Leverage our culture and people capability to fuel brand performance and franchise success
Unmatched Operating Capability: Recruit and equip the best restaurant operators in the world to deliver great customer experiences
Relevant, Easy and Distinctive Brands: Innovate and elevate iconic restaurant brands people trust and champion
Bold Restaurant Development: Drive market and franchise expansion with strong economics and value

Our global citizenship and sustainability strategy, called the Recipe for Good, reflects our priorities for socially responsible growth, risk management and sustainable stewardship of our people, food and planet.  

On October 11, 2016, YUM announced our transformation plans to drive global expansion of our KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell brands (“YUM's Strategic Transformation Initiatives”) following the spin-off of our China business into an independent publicly-traded company under the name of Yum China Holdings, Inc. (“Yum China”).   At this time, we established transformation goals to be met by the end of 2019 including becoming:

More Focused.   By focusing on four growth drivers similar to those that make up our Recipe for Growth above we accelerated system sales growth to 8% in 2019 (excluding the impacts of the 53rd week and foreign currency translation).

More Franchised. The Company successfully increased franchise restaurant ownership to 98% as of the end of 2018.

More Efficient. The Company revamped its financial profile, improving the efficiency of its organization and cost structure globally, by:
Reducing annual capital expenditures associated with Company-operated restaurant maintenance and other projects and funded additional capital for new Company units through the refranchising of existing Company units.  Capital spending in 2019 net of refranchising proceeds was $86 million.
Lowering General and administrative expenses ("G&A") to 1.7% of system sales in 2019; and
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Maintaining an optimized capital structure of ~5.0x Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (“EBITDA”) net leverage.

From 2017 through 2019, we returned $6.5 billion to shareholders through share repurchases and cash dividends. We funded these shareholder returns through a combination of refranchising proceeds, free cash flow generation and maintenance of our ~5.0x EBITDA consolidated net leverage. We generated pre-tax proceeds of $2.8 billion through our refranchising initiatives to achieve targeted franchise ownership of 98%. Refer to the Liquidity and Capital Resources section of this MD&A for additional details.
As a result of the impacts on our business due to the COVID-19 pandemic, certain measures we established as part of our transformation goals were negatively impacted in 2020. For the full year 2020, G&A, excluding the impact of Special Items, represented 1.9% of consolidated system sales, primarily due to sales pressures resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. While we took certain austerity measures to reduce G&A spending such as lower travel related costs and a reduction of our Chief Executive Officer's salary, these reductions were offset by accelerated digital and technology spending to enhance our customer experience and off-premise capabilities. We expect our G&A as a percentage of consolidated system sales to move back toward our historical target of 1.7% as sustained growth resumes. Additionally, during 2020 our EBITDA was negatively impacted by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, which increased our consolidated leverage, net of available cash. We currently estimate we will grow back into our ~5.0x EBITDA consolidated net leverage by second quarter 2021.

Going forward, we expect to:

Maintain a capital structure of ~5.0x EBITDA consolidated net leverage;

Invest capital in a manner consistent with an asset light, franchisor model; and

Allocate G&A in an efficient manner that provides leverage to operating profit growth while at the same time opportunistically investing in strategic growth initiatives.

We intend for this MD&A to provide the reader with information that will assist in understanding our results of operations, including performance metrics that management uses to assess the Company's performance. Throughout this MD&A, we commonly discuss the following performance metrics:

Same-store sales growth is the estimated percentage change in system sales of all restaurants that have been open and in the YUM system for one year or more, including those temporarily closed. From time-to-time restaurants may be temporarily closed due to remodeling or image enhancement, rebuilding, natural disasters, health epidemic or pandemic, landlord disputes or other issues. Throughout 2020 we had a significant number of restaurants that were temporarily closed, including restaurants closed due to government and landlord restrictions, as a result of COVID-19. The system sales of restaurants we deem temporarily closed remain in our base for purposes of determining same-store sales growth and the restaurants remain in our unit count (see below). We believe same-store sales growth is useful to investors because our results are heavily dependent on the results of our Concepts' existing store base. Additionally, same-store sales growth is reflective of the strength of our Brands, the effectiveness of our operational and advertising initiatives and local economic and consumer trends. In 2020, when calculating same-store sales growth we also included in our prior year base the sales of stores that were added as a result of our acquisition of The Habit Restaurants, Inc. on March 18, 2020, and that were open for one year or more. In 2019, when calculating same-store sales growth we also included in our prior year base the sales of stores that were added as a result of the Telepizza strategic alliance in December 2018 and that were open for one year or more. See additional discussion of the acquisition of The Habit Restaurants, Inc. and Telepizza strategic alliance within this MD&A.

Net new unit growth reflects new unit openings offset by permanent store closures, by us and our franchisees. To determine whether a restaurant meets the definition of a unit we consider whether the restaurant has operations that are ongoing and independent from another YUM unit, serves the primary product of one of our Concepts, operates under a separate franchise agreement (if operated by a franchisee) and has substantial and sustainable sales. We believe net new unit growth is useful to investors because we depend on net new units for a significant portion of our growth. Additionally, net new unit growth is generally reflective of the economic returns to us and our franchisees from opening and operating our Concept restaurants.

System sales, System sales excluding the impacts of foreign currency translation ("FX"), and System sales excluding FX and the impact of the 53rd week in 2019 for our U.S. subsidiaries and certain international subsidiaries that operate on a weekly period calendar. System sales reflect the results of all restaurants regardless of ownership, including Company-
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owned and franchise restaurants. Sales at franchise restaurants typically generate ongoing franchise and license fees for the Company at a rate of 3% to 6% of sales. Increasingly, customers are paying a fee to a third party to deliver or facilitate the ordering of our Concepts' products. We also include in System sales any portion of the amount customers pay these third parties for which the third party is obligated to pay us a license fee as a percentage of such amount. Franchise restaurant sales and fees paid by customers to third parties to deliver or facilitate the ordering of our Concepts' products are not included in Company sales on the Consolidated Statements of Income; however, any resulting franchise and license fees we receive are included in the Company's revenues. We believe System sales growth is useful to investors as a significant indicator of the overall strength of our business as it incorporates our primary revenue drivers, Company and franchise same-store sales as well as net unit growth.

Company restaurant profit ("Restaurant profit") is defined as Company sales less expenses incurred directly by our Company-owned restaurants in generating Company sales. Company restaurant margin as a percentage of sales is defined as Restaurant profit divided by Company sales. Restaurant profit is useful to investors as it provides a measure of profitability for our Company-owned restaurants.

In addition to the results provided in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles in the United States of America ("GAAP"), the Company provides the following non-GAAP measurements.

Diluted Earnings Per Share excluding Special Items (as defined below);

Effective Tax Rate excluding Special Items;

Core Operating Profit and Core Operating Profit excluding the impact of the 53rd week in 2019. Core Operating Profit excludes Special Items and FX and we use Core Operating Profit for the purposes of evaluating performance internally.

These non-GAAP measurements are not intended to replace the presentation of our financial results in accordance with GAAP. Rather, the Company believes that the presentation of these non-GAAP measurements provide additional information to investors to facilitate the comparison of past and present operations.

Special Items are not included in any of our Division segment results as the Company does not believe they are indicative of our ongoing operations due to their size and/or nature. Our chief operating decision maker does not consider the impact of Special Items when assessing segment performance.

Certain performance metrics and non-GAAP measurements are presented excluding the impact of FX. These amounts are derived by translating current year results at prior year average exchange rates. We believe the elimination of the FX impact provides better year-to-year comparability without the distortion of foreign currency fluctuations.

For 2019 we provided Core Operating Profit excluding the impact of the 53rd week and System sales excluding FX and the impact of the 53rd week to further enhance the comparability given the 53rd week that was part of our fiscal calendar in 2019.

Results of Operations

Summary

All comparisons within this summary are versus the same period a year ago and unless otherwise stated include the impact of a 53rd week in 2019.  For discussion of our results of operations for 2019 compared to 2018, refer to the Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations included in Part II, Item 7 of our Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019, filed with the SEC on February 19, 2020.

For 2020, GAAP diluted EPS decreased 29% to $2.94 per share, and diluted EPS, excluding Special Items, increased 2% to $3.62 per share.


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2020 financial highlights:
% Change
System Sales,
ex FX
Same-Store Sales Net New Units GAAP Operating Profit Core Operating Profit
KFC Division (5) (9) +4 (12) (12)
Pizza Hut Division (7) (6) (6) (9) (9)
Taco Bell Division Even (1) +1 +2 +2
Worldwide (4) (6) Even (22) (8)

Results Excluding 53rd Week in 2019
(% Change)
System Sales, ex FX Core Operating Profit
KFC Division (5) (11)
Pizza Hut Division (6) (8)
Taco Bell Division +1 +4
Worldwide (3) (7)

Additionally:

During the year, net units increased by 183 units (including our acquisition of The Habit Burger Grill in the first quarter of 2020).

During the year, we repurchased 2.4 million shares totaling $250 million at an average price of $103. 

During the year, we recognized pre-tax investment income of $69 million related to the change in fair value of our investment in Grubhub, Inc. common stock that we sold in the third quarter of 2020, which added $0.17 to diluted EPS for the year. When coupled with $77 million of pre-tax investment expense in 2019, which resulted in a negative $0.19 impact to diluted EPS, our Grubhub investment favorably impacted year-over-year diluted EPS growth by $0.36.

Foreign currency translation impacted Divisional Operating Profit unfavorably for the year by $9 million.

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Worldwide

GAAP Results
  Amount % B/(W)
  2020 2019 2018 2020 2019
Company sales $ 1,810  $ 1,546  $ 2,000  17    (23)
Franchise and property revenues 2,510  2,660  2,482  (6)  
Franchise contributions for advertising and other services 1,332  1,391  1,206  (4) 15 
Total revenues $ 5,652  $ 5,597  $ 5,688    (2)
Restaurant profit $ 304  $ 311  $ 366  (2)   (15)  
Restaurant margin % 16.8  % 20.1  % 18.3  % (3.3) ppts. 1.8  ppts.
G&A expenses $ 1,064  $ 917  $ 895  (16) (2)
Franchise and property expenses 145  180  188  20 
Franchise advertising and other services expense 1,314  1,368  1,208  (13)
Refranchising (gain) loss (34) (37) (540) (9) (93)
Other (income) expense 154  NM NM
Operating Profit $ 1,503  $ 1,930  $ 2,296  (22)   (16)  
Investment (income) expense, net (74) 67  (9) NM NM
Other pension (income) expense 14  14  NM 71 
Interest expense, net 543  486  452  (12)   (8)  
Income tax provision 116  79  297  (48) 74   
Net Income $ 904  $ 1,294  $ 1,542  (30)   (16)  
Diluted EPS(a)
$ 2.94  $ 4.14  $ 4.69  (29)   (12)  
Effective tax rate 11.4  % 5.7  % 16.2  % (5.7) ppts. 10.5  ppts.

(a)See Note 4 for the number of shares used in this calculation.

Performance Metrics
% Increase (Decrease)
Unit Count 2020 2019 2018 2020 2019
Franchise 49,255  49,257  47,268  — 
Company-owned 1,098  913  856  20 
Total 50,353  50,170  48,124  — 

2020 2019 2018
Same-Store Sales Growth (Decline) % (6)
System Sales Growth (Decline) %, reported (4)
System Sales Growth (Decline) %, excluding FX (4)
System Sales Growth (Decline) %, excluding FX and 53rd week (3) N/A

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Our system sales breakdown by Company and franchise sales was as follows:
Year
2020 2019 2018
Consolidated
GAAP Company sales(a)
$ 1,810  $ 1,546  $ 2,000 
Franchise sales 48,549  51,038  47,237 
System sales 50,359  52,584  49,237 
Foreign Currency Impact on System sales(b)
(199) (1,169) N/A
System sales, excluding FX 50,558  53,753  49,237 
Impact of 53rd week N/A 454  N/A
System sales, excluding FX and 53rd Week $ 50,558  $ 53,299  $ 49,237 
KFC Division
GAAP Company sales(a)
$ 506  $ 571  $ 894 
Franchise sales 25,783  27,329  25,345 
System sales 26,289  27,900  26,239 
Foreign Currency Impact on System sales(b)
(192) (898) N/A
System sales, excluding FX 26,481  28,798  26,239 
Impact of 53rd week N/A 167  N/A
System sales, excluding FX and 53rd Week $ 26,481  $ 28,631  $ 26,239 
Pizza Hut Division
GAAP Company sales(a)
$ 76  $ 54  $ 69 
Franchise sales 11,879  12,846  12,143 
System sales 11,955  12,900  12,212 
Foreign Currency Impact on System sales(b)
(5) (259) N/A
System sales, excluding FX 11,960  13,159  12,212 
Impact of 53rd week N/A 103  N/A
System sales, excluding FX and 53rd Week $ 11,960  $ 13,056  $ 12,212 
Taco Bell Division
GAAP Company sales(a)
$ 882  $ 921  $ 1,037 
Franchise sales 10,863  10,863  9,749 
System sales 11,745  11,784  10,786 
Foreign Currency Impact on System sales(b)
(2) (12) N/A
System sales, excluding FX 11,747  11,796  10,786 
Impact of 53rd week N/A 184  N/A
System sales, excluding FX and 53rd Week $ 11,747  $ 11,612  $ 10,786 
Habit Burger Grill Division(c)
GAAP Company sales(a)
$ 346  N/A N/A
Franchise sales 24  N/A N/A
System sales 370  N/A N/A
Foreign Currency Impact on System sales(b)
—  N/A N/A
System sales, excluding FX $ 370  N/A N/A
(a)Company sales represents sales from our Company-operated stores as presented on our Consolidated Statements of Income.

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(b)The foreign currency impact on System sales is presented in relation only to the immediately preceding year presented. When determining applicable System sales growth percentages, the System sales excluding FX for the current year should be compared to the prior year System sales prior to adjustment for the prior year FX impact.

(c)System sales for the Habit Burger Grill Division is shown since our March 18, 2020 acquisition date.

Non-GAAP Items
Non-GAAP Items, along with the reconciliation to the most comparable GAAP financial measure, are presented below.
2020 2019 2018
Core Operating Profit Growth % (8) 12  — 
Core Operating Profit Growth %, excluding 53rd week (7) 11  N/A
Diluted EPS Growth %, excluding Special Items 12 
Effective Tax Rate excluding Special Items 15.9  % 19.8  % 20.4  %

  Year
Detail of Special Items 2020 2019 2018
Refranchising gain (loss)(a)
$ $ 12  $ 540 
Costs associated with acquisition and integration of Habit Burger Grill (See Note 3)
(9) (1) — 
Impairment of Habit Burger Grill goodwill (See Note 3)
(144) —  — 
Unlocking Opportunity Initiative contribution (See Note 5)
(50) —  — 
COVID-19 relief contribution (See Note 5)
(25) —  — 
Charges associated with resource optimization (See Note 5)
(36) —  — 
Costs associated with Pizza Hut U.S. Transformation Agreement(b)
(5) (13) (6)
YUM's Strategic Transformation Initiatives(c)
—  —  (8)
Other Special Items Income (Expense)(d)
(6) (9)
Special Items Income (Expense) - Operating Profit (267) (11) 530 
Charges associated with resource optimization - Other Pension Expense (See Note 5)
(2) —  — 
Interest expense, net(d) (See Note 5)
(34) (2) — 
Special Items Income (Expense) before Income Taxes (303) (13) 530 
Tax Benefit (Expense) on Special Items(e)
65  (30) (96)
Tax Benefit - Intra-entity transfer of intellectual property(f)
28  226  — 
Tax Benefit - U.S. Tax Act(g)
—  —  66 
Special Items Income (Expense), net of tax $ (210) $ 183  $ 500 
Average diluted shares outstanding 307  313  329 
Special Items diluted EPS $ (0.68) $ 0.59  $ 1.52 
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Reconciliation of GAAP Operating Profit to Core Operating Profit and Core Operating Profit, excluding 53rd Week
Consolidated
GAAP Operating Profit $ 1,503  $ 1,930  $ 2,296 
Special Items Income (Expense) - Operating Profit (267) (11) 530 
Foreign Currency Impact on Divisional Operating Profit(h)
(9) (46) N/A
Core Operating Profit 1,779  1,987  1,766 
Impact of 53rd Week N/A 24  N/A
Core Operating Profit, excluding 53rd Week $ 1,779  $ 1,963  $ 1,766 
KFC Division
GAAP Operating Profit $ 922  $ 1,052  $ 959 
Foreign Currency Impact on Divisional Operating Profit(h)
(9) (39) N/A
Core Operating Profit 931  1,091  959 
Impact of 53rd Week N/A N/A
Core Operating Profit, excluding 53rd Week $ 931  $ 1,083  $ 959 
Pizza Hut Division
GAAP Operating Profit $ 335  $ 369  $ 348 
Foreign Currency Impact on Divisional Operating Profit(h)
—  (7) N/A
Core Operating Profit 335  376  348 
Impact of 53rd Week N/A N/A
Core Operating Profit, excluding 53rd Week $ 335  $ 373  $ 348 
Taco Bell Division
GAAP Operating Profit $ 696  $ 683  $ 633 
Foreign Currency Impact on Divisional Operating Profit(h)
—  —  N/A
Core Operating Profit 696  683  633 
Impact of 53rd Week N/A 13  N/A
Core Operating Profit, excluding 53rd Week $ 696  $ 670  $ 633 
Habit Burger Grill Division
GAAP Operating Profit $ (22) N/A N/A
Foreign Currency Impact on Divisional Operating Profit(h)
—  N/A N/A
Core Operating Profit $ (22) N/A N/A
Reconciliation of Diluted EPS to Diluted EPS excluding Special Items
Diluted EPS $ 2.94  $ 4.14  $ 4.69 
Special Items Diluted EPS (0.68) 0.59  1.52 
Diluted EPS excluding Special Items $ 3.62  $ 3.55  $ 3.17 
Reconciliation of GAAP Effective Tax Rate to Effective Tax Rate, excluding Special Items
GAAP Effective Tax Rate 11.4  % 5.7  % 16.2  %
Impact on Tax Rate as a result of Special Items(e)(f)(g)
(4.5) % (14.1) % (4.2) %
Effective Tax Rate excluding Special Items 15.9  % 19.8  % 20.4  %

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(a)Due to their size and volatility we have reflected as Special Items those refranchising gains and losses that were recorded in connection with our previously announced plans to have at least 98% franchise restaurant ownership by the end of 2018. As such, refranchising gains and losses recorded during 2020 as Special Items primarily include true-ups to refranchising gains and losses recorded prior to December 31, 2018. Refranchising gains and losses recorded during 2019 as Special Items primarily include gains or losses associated with sales of underlying real estate associated with stores that were franchised as of December 31, 2018, or true-ups to refranchising gains and losses recorded prior to December 31, 2018.

During the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, we recorded net refranchising gains of $8 million, $12 million and $540 million, respectively, that have been reflected as Special Items.

Additionally, during the years ended December 31, 2020, and 2019 we recorded refranchising gains of $26 million and $25 million, respectively, that have not been reflected as Special Items as such amounts are considered indicative of our expected ongoing refranchising activity. These net gains relate to the refranchising of restaurants in 2020 and 2019 that were not part of our aforementioned plans to achieve 98% franchise ownership.

(b)In May 2017, we reached an agreement with our Pizza Hut U.S. franchisees that improved brand marketing alignment, accelerated enhancements in operations and technology and that included a permanent commitment to incremental advertising as well as digital and technology contributions by franchisees. In connection with this agreement, we recognized charges of $5 million, $13 million and $6 million in the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively, related to operating investments required as part of this agreement. The majority of these costs were recorded within Franchise and property expenses. Based on their nature and the significance in related spending in 2017, these charges have been reflected as Special Items.

(c)In October 2016, we announced our strategic transformation plans to drive global expansion of the KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell brands ("YUM's Strategic Transformation Initiatives") following the then anticipated spin-off of our China business (the "Separation") on October 31, 2016, into an independent, publicly-traded company under the name of Yum China Holdings, Inc. ("Yum China"). Major features of the Company’s strategic transformation plans involved being more focused on the development of our three brands, increasing our franchise ownership and creating a leaner, more efficient cost structure. We incurred charges of $8 million related to our Strategic Transformation Initiatives in the year ended December 31, 2018, primarily recorded in G&A, including contract termination costs and relocation and severance costs for restaurant-support center employees. Due to the scope of these initiatives as well as the significance in related spending in 2017 and 2016, these charges were recognized as Special Items.

(d)During the second quarter of 2019, we recorded charges of $8 million and $2 million to Other (income) expense and Interest expense, net, respectively, related to cash payments in excess of our recorded liability to settle contingent consideration associated with our 2013 acquisition of the KFC Turkey and Pizza Hut Turkey businesses. Consistent with prior adjustments to the recorded contingent consideration we have reflected this as a Special Item.

(e)Tax Benefit (Expense) on Special Items was determined based upon the impact of the nature, as well as the jurisdiction of the respective individual components within Special Items. Additionally, we increased our Income tax provision by $34 million in the fourth quarter of 2019 to record a reserve against and by $19 million in the second quarter of 2018 to correct an error related to the tax recorded on a prior year divestiture, the effects of which were previously recorded as a Special Item.

(f)In the fourth quarter of 2019, we completed intra-entity transfers of certain intellectual property rights. As a result of the transfer of certain of these rights, largely to subsidiaries in the United Kingdom (“UK”), we received a step-up in tax basis to current fair value under applicable tax law. To the extent this step-up in tax basis will be amortizable against future taxable income, we recognized one-time deferred tax benefits of $3 million and $226 million as a Special Item in the quarters ended December 31, 2020 and December 31, 2019, respectively. During the quarter ended September 30, 2020, the UK Finance Act 2020 was enacted resulting in an increase in the UK corporate tax rate from 17% to 19%. As a result, in the quarter ended September 30, 2020, we remeasured the related deferred tax asset originally recorded in the fourth quarter of 2019. This remeasurement resulted in the recognition of an additional $25 million deferred tax benefit as a Special Item in the quarter ended September 30, 2020.

(g)In 2018, we recorded a $35 million decrease related to our provisional tax expense recorded in the fourth quarter of 2017 associated with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 ("Tax Act") that was reported as a Special Item.  We also recorded a Special Items tax benefit of $31 million in 2018 related to 2018 U.S. foreign tax credits that became realizable directly as a result of the impact of deemed repatriation tax expense associated with the Tax Act.
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(h)The foreign currency impact on reported Operating Profit is presented in relation only to the immediately preceding year presented. When determining applicable Core Operating Profit Growth percentages, the Core Operating Profit for the current year should be compared to the prior year Operating Profit, prior to adjustment for the prior year FX impact.

Items Impacting Reported Results and/or Expected to Impact Future Results

The following items impacted reported results in 2020 and/or 2019 and/or are expected to impact future results. See also the Detail of Special Items section of this M&DA for other items similarly impacting results.

COVID-19

In late 2019, a novel strain of coronavirus, COVID-19, was first detected and in March 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. Throughout 2020, COVID-19 has spread throughout the U.S. and the rest of the world and governmental authorities have implemented measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19. These measures include restrictions on travel outside the home and other limitations on business and other activities as well as encouraging social distancing. As a result of COVID-19, we and our franchisees have experienced significant store closures and instances of reduced store-level operations, including reduced operating hours and dining-room closures.

Our results were significantly impacted by the impacts of COVID-19 in the year ended December 31, 2020, as evidenced by our worldwide same-store sales decline of 6%. The impact on our sales in each of our markets has been dependent on the timing, severity and duration of the outbreak, measures implemented by government authorities to reduce the spread of COVID-19, as well as our reliance on dine-in sales in the market. Overall, our sales declines have been primarily driven by temporary store closures, which peaked in early April at about 11,000 restaurants. From that date, temporarily closed restaurants gradually reopened until, as of the end of our third quarter, we had approximately 1,100 units temporarily closed. We continued to see reopenings through the balance of the fourth-quarter; however, due to the second-wave impacts of COVID-19, including increased government restrictions, temporary closures climbed back to approximately 1,000 as of February 4, 2021. As a result, roughly 98% of our system is currently open in a full or limited capacity. Geographies experiencing temporary closures have evolved and we are now seeing more closures in Europe, Canada and the Middle East, offset by some re-openings in Latin America and India. Assets located in malls, transportation centers, airports and other similar locations continue to be pressured, making up many of the temporary closures. In addition to the loss of sales due to restaurants being temporarily closed, we have also lost sales due to the significant number of our open restaurants subject to dining room closures or other limitations on access. We have been able to mitigate the loss of sales due to dining room closures or other limitations on access through the strength of our off-premise channels, aided by increasing consumer access to our brands via digital channels. Our worldwide same-store sales decline of 1% for the fourth quarter of 2020 represents an improvement from the same-store sales declines of 7%, 15% and 2% in the respective first, second and third quarters of 2020.

The COVID-19 situation is ongoing, and its dynamic nature makes it difficult to forecast any impacts on the Company's 2021 results. The ultimate pace of recovery will largely depend on the pace of restaurant reopenings and the continuation of current sales trends, although we expect continuing adverse impacts from COVID-19. In addition, for our restaurants that prominently feature drive-thru, carryout and delivery options, COVID-19 has in many cases contributed to an increase in sales during 2020. If the impact of COVID-19 recedes, in-person dining restrictions are lifted or lessened and the restaurant industry in general returns to more normal operations, the benefits to sales experienced by certain of our restaurants, including our Pizza Hut delivery restaurants, could wane and our results could be negatively impacted. As 98% of our restaurants are operated by approximately 2,000 independent franchisees across the world, we are closely monitoring the impact of COVID-19 on our franchisees' financial condition.

Net New Unit Growth

In addition to the restaurants that have been, or continue to be, temporarily closed during 2020, the uncertainties associated with COVID-19 contributed to fewer new restaurant openings and increased permanent restaurant closures during 2020 versus both our recent history and expectations. In addition to permanent closures due to the impacts of COVID-19, the Pizza Hut system also experienced increased permanent closures of certain asset types primarily due to business model pressures as discussed in the following paragraph. For the year ended December 31, 2020, our Concepts collectively opened 2,423 new units while permanently closing 2,516 units.

While net new unit growth at each of KFC, Taco Bell and The Habit Burger Grill was lower than expected in 2020, each Concept realized positive net new unit growth for the year. Pizza Hut experienced a net new unit decline of 1,064 restaurants in
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2020, largely due to 1,745 global closures, including 867 closures in the U.S., nearly 300 of which were stores operated by NPC International, Inc. ("NPC") as discussed in the following paragraph. These global closures, which were largely underperforming or low volume casual dining-based and license units, have hastened the transition of the Pizza Hut system to a more delivery-focused and modern estate, which we believe will optimize our ability to grow the Pizza Hut system going forward. However, these and continued closures within our Pizza Hut Division will present a headwind to the Division's net unit and operating profit growth in 2021.

NPC, our largest Pizza Hut U.S. franchisee, filed voluntary petitions on July 1, 2020, to restructure under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas. In connection with the bankruptcy filing, we consented to up to 300 mutually selected closures of underperforming units, primarily dine-in assets. These units were largely closed during the quarter ended September 30, 2020. In January 2021, Flynn Restaurant Group, an existing YUM franchisee, announced its intention to acquire NPC’s approximately 950 remaining Pizza Hut U.S. restaurants.

Investment in Grubhub, Inc. ("Grubhub")

In April of 2018 we purchased 2.8 million shares of Grubhub common stock for $200 million. In the quarter ended September 30, 2020, we sold our entire investment in Grubhub and received proceeds of $206 million. While we held our investment in Grubhub common stock we recognized changes in the fair value in our investment in our Consolidated Statements of Income. For the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, we recognized pre-tax investment income of $69 million, pre-tax investment expense of $77 million and pre-tax investment income of $14 million, respectively.

The Habit Restaurants, Inc. Acquisition

On March 18, 2020, we acquired The Habit Restaurants, Inc. for total cash consideration of $408 million, net of cash acquired. We have reflected the ongoing results of Habit Burger Grill’s operations from March 18, 2020 through December 31, 2020, in our Financial Statements. These ongoing results had an insignificant impact on our consolidated results of operations. Additionally, we have included the system sales of Habit Burger Grill for the period from March 18, 2020 through December 31, 2020, in our consolidated system sales and reflected Habit Burger Grill’s same-store sales results for this same period in our consolidated same-store sales results, as applicable, for the year ended December 31, 2020. Consolidated system sales in 2020, excluding the impact of FX and the lapping of the 53rd week in 2019, were positively impacted by one percentage point due to the inclusion of Habit Burger Grill while consolidated same-store sales results were not impacted.

As a result of the impacts of COVID-19 on the results of Habit Burger Grill’s operations, as well as general market conditions, we recorded an after-tax impairment charge of $107 million in the first quarter of 2020 related to the goodwill arising from the preliminary purchase price allocation associated with the acquisition. As we continued to refine our preliminary purchase price allocation for Habit in the quarter ended September 30, 2020, the after-tax impairment charge was adjusted upward by $4 million. We have reflected this impairment as a Special Item, resulting in a Special Item EPS charge for the year ended December 31, 2020, of approximately $0.36. See Note 3.

Extra Week in 2019

Fiscal 2019 included a 53rd week for all of our U.S. and certain international subsidiaries that operate on a period calendar. See Note 2 for additional details related to our fiscal calendar. The following table summarizes the estimated impact of the 53rd week on Revenues and Operating Profit for the year ended December 31, 2019. The 53rd week in 2019 favorably impacted Diluted EPS by $0.05 per share.

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KFC Division Pizza Hut Division Taco Bell Division Total
Revenues
Company sales
$ $ $ 15  $ 24 
Franchise and property revenues
10  24 
Franchise contributions for advertising and other services 18 
Total revenues $ 22  $ 11  $ 33  $ 66 
Operating Profit
Franchise and property revenues
$ $ $ 10  $ 24 
Franchise contributions for advertising and other services
18 
Restaurant profit
— 
Franchise and property expenses
—  (1) —  (1)
Franchise advertising and other services expenses (5) (5) (8) (18)
G&A expenses
(2) (1) (2) (5)
Operating Profit $ $ $ 13  $ 24 

KFC Division

The KFC Division has 25,000 units, 84% of which are located outside the U.S. Additionally, 99% of the KFC Division units were operated by franchisees as of the end of 2020.
% B/(W) % B/(W)
2020 2019
2020 2019 2018 Reported Ex FX Ex FX and 53rd Week in 2019 Reported Ex FX
Ex FX and 53rd Week in 2019
System Sales $ 26,289  $ 27,900  $ 26,239  (6) (5) (5) 6 10 9
Same-Store Sales Growth % (9) N/A N/A N/A N/A
Company sales $ 506  $ 571  $ 894  (11) (9) (8) (36) (33) (34)
Franchise and property revenues 1,295  1,390  1,294  (7) (6) (5) 7 11 10 
Franchise contributions for advertising and other services 471  530  456  (11) (10) (9) 16 21 20 
Total revenues $ 2,272  $ 2,491  $ 2,644  (9) (8) (7) (6) (2) (3)
Restaurant profit $ 67  $ 87  $ 119  (24) (24) (22) (26) (23) (24)
Restaurant margin % 13.2  % 15.3  % 13.3  % (2.1) ppts. (2.4) ppts. (2.4) ppts. 2.0 ppts. 2.0 ppts. 2.0 ppts.
G&A expenses $ 346  $ 346  $ 350  —  (1) (1) (1) (1)
Franchise and property expenses 91  89  107  (2) (2) (3) 17 13 13
Franchise advertising and other services expense 465  520  452  11  (15) (20) (19)
Operating Profit $ 922  $ 1,052  $ 959  (12) (12) (11) 10 14 13
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% Increase (Decrease)
Unit Count 2020 2019 2018 2020 2019
Franchise 24,710  23,759  22,297 
Company-owned 290  345  324  (16)
Total 25,000  24,104  22,621 

Company sales and Restaurant margin percentage

In 2020, the decrease in Company sales, excluding the impacts of foreign currency translation and lapping the 53rd week in 2019, was driven by refranchising and company same-store sales declines of 6%, partially offset by net new unit growth.

In 2020, the decrease in Restaurant margin percentage was driven by transaction declines and increased restaurant costs, including one-time bonuses and other costs incurred as a result of COVID-19, partially offset by the favorable impact of higher guest check.

Franchise and property revenues

In 2020, the decrease in Franchise and property revenues, excluding the impacts of foreign currency translation and lapping the 53rd week in 2019, was driven by franchise same-store sales declines of 9%, partially offset by net new unit growth.

G&A

In 2020, the increase in G&A, excluding the impacts of foreign currency translation and lapping the 53rd week in 2019, was driven by higher professional fees, higher share-based compensation and higher salaries, partially offset by lower travel related costs and lower incentive compensation.

Operating Profit

In 2020, the decrease in Operating Profit, excluding the impacts of foreign currency translation and lapping the 53rd week in 2019, was driven by same-store sales declines, partially offset by net new unit growth.

Pizza Hut Division

The Pizza Hut Division has 17,639 units, 63% of which are located outside the U.S. Over 99% of the Pizza Hut Division units were operated by franchisees as of the end of 2020. The Pizza Hut Division uses multiple distribution channels including delivery, dine-in and express (e.g. airports) and includes units operating under both the Pizza Hut and Telepizza brands.

On December 30, 2018, the Company consummated a strategic alliance with Telepizza Group S.A. (“Telepizza”), to be the master franchisee of Pizza Hut in Latin America and portions of Europe, which added approximately 1,300 Telepizza units to our Pizza Hut Division unit count on December 30, 2018. The addition of the Telepizza units positively impacted 2019 Pizza Hut Division system sales growth, excluding the impacts of foreign currency and 53rd week, by 5 percentage points. The impact to Operating Profit for the year ended December 31, 2019, as a result of the strategic alliance was not significant.

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% B/(W) % B/(W)
2020 2019
2020 2019 2018 Reported Ex FX Ex FX and 53rd Week in 2019 Reported Ex FX
Ex FX and 53rd Week in 2019
System Sales $ 11,955  $ 12,900  $ 12,212  (7) (7) (6) 7
Same-Store Sales Growth (Decline) % (6) N/A N/A —  N/A N/A
Company sales $ 76  $ 54  $ 69  42  41  42  (23) (21) (21)
Franchise and property revenues 552  597  598  (8) (8) (7) —  1
Franchise contributions for advertising and other services 374  376  321  (1) (1) 17  18  16
Total revenues $ 1,002  $ 1,027  $ 988  (2) (2) (1)
Restaurant profit $ $ $ —  72  67  69  NM NM NM
Restaurant margin % 5.1  % 4.2  % (0.1) % 0.9  ppts. 0.7  ppts. 0.8  ppts. 4.3  ppts. 4.2  ppts. 4.1  ppts.
G&A expenses $ 215  $ 202  $ 197  (7) (7) (8) (2) (3) (2)
Franchise and property expenses 17  39  45  56  56  54  12  11  13 
Franchise advertising and other services expense 365  367  328  —  —  (1) (12) (12) (11)
Operating Profit $ 335  $ 369  $ 348  (9) (9) (8)

% Increase (Decrease)
Unit Count 2020 2019 2018 2020 2019
Franchise 17,559  18,603  18,369  (6)
Company-owned 80  100  62  (20) 61 
Total 17,639  18,703  18,431  (6)


Company sales

In 2020, the increase in Company sales, excluding the impacts of foreign currency translation and lapping the 53rd week in 2019, was driven by the acquisition of stores in the UK in the quarter ended September 30, 2019, and company same-store sales growth of 4%.

Franchise and property revenues

In 2020, the decrease in Franchise and property revenues, excluding the impacts of foreign currency translation and lapping the 53rd week in 2019, was driven by franchise same-store sales declines of 6% and net new unit declines.

G&A

In 2020, the increase in G&A, excluding the impacts of foreign currency translation and lapping the 53rd week in 2019, was driven by higher share-based compensation, higher professional fees, higher incentive compensation and higher headcount, partially offset by lower travel related costs.
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Operating Profit

In 2020, the decrease in Operating Profit, excluding the impacts of foreign currency translation and lapping the 53rd week in 2019, was driven by same-store sales declines, higher G&A, net new unit declines, and the write-off of software no longer being used, partially offset by recoveries on past due receivables.

Taco Bell Division

The Taco Bell Division has 7,427 units, 92% of which are in the U.S. The Company owned 7% of the Taco Bell units in the U.S. as of the end of 2020.
% B/(W) % B/(W)
2020 2019
2020 2019 2018 Reported Ex FX Ex FX and 53rd Week in 2019 Reported Ex FX
Ex FX and 53rd Week in 2019
System Sales $ 11,745  $ 11,784  $ 10,786  —  — 
Same-Store Sales Growth % (1) N/A N/A N/A N/A
Company sales $ 882  $ 921  $ 1,037  (4) (4) (3) (11) (11) (13)
Franchise and property revenues 662  673  590  (2) (2) —  14  14  12 
Franchise contributions for advertising and other services 487  485  429  —  —  13  13  11 
Total revenues $ 2,031  $ 2,079  $ 2,056  (2) (2) (1) — 
Restaurant profit $ 225  $ 221  $ 244  (9) (9) (11)
Restaurant margin % 25.5  % 24.0  % 23.5  % 1.5  ppts. 1.5  ppts. 1.6  ppts. 0.5  ppts. 0.5  ppts. 0.4  ppts.
G&A expenses $ 158  $ 181  $ 177  13  13  12  (2) (3) (2)
Franchise and property expenses 33  38  28  16  15  15  (33) (33) (32)
Franchise advertising and other services expense 484  481  428  (1) (1) (2) (12) (12) (11)
Operating Profit $ 696  $ 683  $ 633 

% Increase (Decrease)
Unit Count 2020 2019 2018 2020 2019
Franchise 6,952  6,895  6,602 
Company-owned 475  468  470  — 
Total 7,427  7,363  7,072 

Company sales and Restaurant margin percentage

In 2020, the decrease in Company Sales, excluding the impact of lapping the 53rd week in 2019, was driven by company same-store sales declines of 3% and refranchising offset by net new unit growth.

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In 2020, the increase in restaurant margin percentage was driven by the favorable impact of higher guest check, lower restaurant operating costs such as labor and repairs and maintenance costs due to dining room closures as a result of COVID-19 and lower advertising costs, partially offset by transaction declines and a COVID-19 related bonus for restaurant employees.

Franchise and property revenues

In 2020, Franchise and property revenues were flat for the year, excluding the impacts of foreign currency translation and lapping the 53rd week in 2019, as net new unit growth was offset by franchise same-store sales declines of 1%.

G&A

In 2020, the decrease in G&A, excluding the impacts of foreign currency translation and lapping the 53rd week in 2019, was driven by lower incentive compensation, lower travel related costs, decreased professional fees and decreased salaries, partially offset by higher share-based compensation.

Operating Profit

In 2020, the increase in Operating Profit, excluding the impacts of foreign currency translation and lapping the 53rd week in 2019, was driven by lower G&A costs, net new unit growth and lower restaurant operating costs partially offset by same-store sales declines and higher restaurant asset impairment charges.

Habit Burger Grill Division

The Habit Burger Grill Division has 287 units, the vast majority of which are in the U.S. The Company owned 91% of the Habit Burger Grill units in the U.S. as of December 31, 2020. From March 18, 2020, the date we acquired The Habit Burger Grill, through December 31, 2020, we reported a same-store sales decline of 11%. Total revenues and Operating loss were $347 million and $22 million, respectively, for the period from March 18, 2020 through December 31, 2020. During this period we also opened 14 gross new restaurants.

Corporate & Unallocated
% B/(W)
(Expense)/Income 2020 2019 2018 2020 2019
Corporate and unallocated G&A $ (312) $ (188) $ (171) (66) (10)
Unallocated Company restaurant expenses —  —  NM (95)
Unallocated Franchise and property expenses (4) (14) (8) 68  (72)
Unallocated Refranchising gain (loss) (See Note 5)
34  37  540  (9) (93)
Unallocated Other income (expense) (146) (9) (8) NM NM
Investment income (expense), net (See Note 5)
74  (67) NM NM
Other pension income (expense) (See Note 15)
(14) (4) (14) NM