Yum China sales up in February amid turnaround, shares jump

March 11 (Reuters) - KFC parent Yum Brands Inc on Monday said February sales at established restaurants in China, its top market, rose an unexpected 2 percent as it works to recover from a steep business decline sparked by a food safety scare there late last year.

The average of three analysts estimates was for a decline of 8.7 percent in February, according to Consensus Metrix.

Yum also said first-quarter same-restaurant sales in China dropped 20 percent. It had previously forecast a 25 percent decline for the first quarter.

Yum shares rose 7 percent in after-hours trading to $72.59, their highest level since Yum first warned of a sales shortfall in China last November.