Burger King Worldwide Inc. (BKW:US) considers Russia one of its most important growth markets and will expand into the eastern region of Siberia later this year, representatives of the company said in Moscow today.
“This is a key growth market for Burger King not just in Europe, Middle East and Africa, but also around the world,” said Jose Cil, the company’s president for the EMEA region. “We are 20 years late‘‘ but ‘‘making progress very quickly,‘‘ he said.
Burger King opened its first Russian restaurant in 2010, two decades after citizens of the former Soviet Union were first able to sample the burgers of rival McDonald’s Corp. (MCD:US) The two fast-food companies are seeking growth in emerging markets to compensate for slower sales growth in the U.S.
Siberia has growth potential in Russia due to its comparatively low number of fast-food restaurants per person, Cil said after a presentation at the company’s 3,000th restaurant in the Europe, Middle East and Africa zone, in the Nikulin Circus building in Moscow.
Burger King has opened 70 restaurants in Russia since 2010 and serves more than 40,000 visitors a day, said Dmitry Medovoy, general director of the Russian unit, which is a joint venture with state-controlled bank VTB Capital. The company will open its first Siberian restaurant in the oil town of Surgut by the end of this year, he said.
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