Needless to say, 2016 will be a transformational year for Yum! as we complete this spin-off. The fundamental goal of Yum!, however, is unchanged. We are 100% dedicated to building and strengthening KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell all around the world as strong brands are critical to delivering sustained growth and creating long-term shareholder value.
In 2015 EPS excluding Special Items grew to $3.18 per share, or 3%, despite a 7% decline in the first half of the year. With restaurants in over 130 countries and territories we have foreign exchange exposure from the impact of translating our foreign profits from local currencies into U.S. dollars. In 2015 we had six percentage points of foreign currency headwinds. Excluding these currency headwinds full-year EPS grew 9% despite lower than expected sales in our China division. While 2015 EPS was below our initial expectations, I was pleased with the sales momentum we generated across the majority of Yum! in the fourth quarter and look forward to building on this in 2016.
For the full year our brand divisions collectively grew operating profit 8% in constant currency, which is in-line with our ongoing growth model target. This was led by 12% operating profit growth at Taco Bell – a remarkable result given the significant investments we made in the fourth quarter to position the brand for continued momentum and category leadership for years to come. Operating profit grew 8% in constant currency in China, with impressive cost management partially offsetting weaker than originally anticipated sales results.
In 2015 worldwide system sales grew 5% in constant currency, which included increases of 8% at Taco Bell, 7% at KFC, 2% at Pizza Hut and 2% in China. Same-store sales growth was positive across all three of our brand divisions, with Taco Bell at 5%, KFC at 3% and Pizza Hut at 1%. China’s same-store sales declined 4% in 2015 but we have plans to return both KFC China and Pizza Hut Casual Dining to positive growth in 2016.
We opened 2,365 new restaurants globally in 2015. This year we expect to open nearly 2,400 new restaurants, which means we’re opening over 6 new restaurants a day, laying the groundwork for future growth. Given the plans we have laid out for each of the divisions, we’re confident in our ability to deliver 10% operating profit growth in constant currency in 2016, which includes the benefit of a 53rd operating week for part of our brand divisions.