This came despite China's same-store sales rising two per cent in China, ahead of expects for a 1.9 per cent increase.
The group's total revenue slumped 1.2 per cent to $3.95bn (£2.7bn) in the quarter ended December 26th, coming in below analysts' expectations of $4.02bn.
Yum!, which owns a number of brands including KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, said the results mean it's well placed to press ahead with plans to spin off its China business. Sales had been struggling there following a meat safety scandal and marketing missteps.
"Given the results we have seen year-to-date and the plans we have laid out for each of the brands, we're confident in our ability to deliver 10 per cent operating profit growth in constant currency in 2016," Greg Creed, chief executive of Yum!, said.
"2016 will be a transformational year for Yum! as we are on track to complete the spin-off of our China division, ultimately creating two powerful, independent, focused growth companies."
Yum! reported net income of $275m, or 63 cents per share, in the latest quarter, compared with a loss of $86m, or 20 cents per share, a year earlier.