US-based fastfood giant Yum! Brands has reported a 5% rise in February US same-store sales.

The company said same-store sales at its US Pizza Hut outlets rose 9% for the four weeks to 21 February compared to the year-ago period, while those at Taco Bell rose 6% and KFC same-store sales were flat.

The company said its estimated international sales increased 6% prior to foreign currency conversion or 15% after conversion.

Yum! Brands said sales in several Asian markets, including sections of China, had been impacted by the avian flu outbreaks. The company said it still believes the effect of the bird flu situation in Asia will be most likely be short term in nature.

The company backed its earlier earnings guidance of at least $2.27 per share for the full year 2004 prior to special items, or at least $2.29 including a special-items net gain.