Novak, who is also Yum Brands' chairman, said at an annual investor meeting in New York that he expects next year's same-restaurant sales in China to be stronger in the second half, after a softer first half.
Last week, the company warned that same-restaurant sales in China are expected to fall 4 percent in the fourth quarter, the first decline since 2009. China accounts for more than half of Yum Brands total revenue and operating profit.
Same-restaurant sales are an important gauge of performance for restaurant companies.
Novak said some of the fourth-quarter underperformance could be attributed to economic factors in China, which remains the world's fastest-growing economy even as economic activity has cooled over the past several months. (Reuters)