Share this article:

Photo by Samuel Richard

Irvine-based Taco Bell Corp.’s operating profit in the second quarter grew 29% to $140 million compared with the same period last year, its parent company said Tuesday.

System-wide sales at Taco Bell grew 9%, according to Louisville, Ky.-based Yum Brands Inc. The increase came in part on higher breakfast sales and 58 locations opened in the quarter, most of them franchised.

Get the latest OC business updates for FREE

Taco Bell’s restaurant margins were 23% in the quarter, an increase of more than 5 percentage points.

“Taco Bell is firing on all cylinders driven by industry-leading innovation and a solid breakfast platform,” Yum Chief Executive Greg Creed said.

Yum reported second quarter operating profit at its other two fast food chains, KFC and Pizza Hut, were down 2% to $150 million and 4% to $60 million, respectively, from currency exchanges and lingering woes in the two brands’ China operations.

Net income at Yum was down 5% in the second quarter, year-over-year, excluding one-time items.