KFC's parent company Yum! Brands says its profit fell in the latest quarter of 2013, but that sales trends were improving in its critical China division, which suffered from an avian influenza scare.

The company, which also owns Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, said sales in China were down 10 percent at restaurants open at least a year for June. That's better than the 19 percent drop in May.

Yum! Brands earned $281 million, or 61 cents per share, for its second fiscal quarter. That's compared with $331 million, or 69 cents per share, in 2012. Excluding one-time items, it earned 56 cents per share, which was above the 54 cents Wall Street expected.


In addition to the bird flu scare, Yum! is still trying to shake off the lingering effects of a controversy over its chicken supply. That trouble sprang up after a Chinese TV report revealed in December that some suppliers were giving chickens unapproved levels of antibiotics.

The news has dissipated regarding avian flu and any of the residual effects of the antibiotic situation, Yum! spokesman Jonathan Blum told reporters. As a result, the company is no longer actively running any marketing campaigns addressing either issue.