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Yum China sales fall more than expected in August

(Reuters) - KFC parent Yum Brands Inc on Friday said August sales at established restaurants in China fell an estimated 10 percent, as it works to recover from a food safety scare and a bird flu outbreak that crushed sales in its most important market.

Eight analysts, on average, had expected July sales to fall 7.7 percent, according to Consensus Metrix.

Yum generates more than half of its overall operating profit in China, where it is the biggest Western restaurant operator with roughly 6,000 mostly KFC restaurants. Late last year its China restaurant sales tumbled after a scare over chemical residues in chicken. That was followed by a bird flu outbreak.

Yum, which also owns the Taco Bell and Pizza Hut chains, expects China restaurant sales growth to resume in the fourth quarter.

Shares of Yum slipped 0.3 percent to $69.37 in extended trading following the news.

(Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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