US fastfood giant Yum Brands has posted a sharp rise in second-quarter profit, helped by strong overseas sales.

The company, which owns fastfood chains Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell, reported net income of US$178m, or 58 cents per share, for the second quarter to 12 June, compared to $122m, or 40 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Revenue rose 7% to $2.08bn.

Yum Brands said its international operating profit rose 23%, helping to offset weaker US profit margins caused by higher ingredient costs, reported Reuters.

The company raised its 2004 earnings target to at least $2.33 per share before special items, an increase of 3 cents per share, boosted by strong international sales.