DES MOINES, Iowa (Dow Jones)--Yum Brands Inc. (YUM) vowed Tuesday to "crack the code" on a better value proposition for its Pizza Hut chain in the U.S., where it acknowledged that competitors were taking sales.
"We don't like it one iota that we are not competing as effectively as we can with the competition," Chief Executive David Novak said during a conference call. "We've turned brands around in the pat. We'll do it in the future," he said.
In the most recent four-week reporting period Pizza Hut, although the category leader in the U.S., saw same-store sales slide 5% from a year ago.
Novak said that while Pizza Hut has "great product news...we definitely are missing on the value front versus our competitors...The category is flat but competitors are doing a superior job in communicating their value."
The company also said it sees significant growth opportunity in opening KFC-Taco Bell dual-branded restaurants in the rural U.S.
Shares of Yum were recently at $51.42, up $1.82, or 3.7%, on volume of 3 million compared to average daily volume of 1.5 million.