McDonald’s announces further expansion plans in Russia on 20th birthday

American fast food giant McDonald's plans to open 45 restaurants in Russia in 2010, investing around $3 million in each.

The plan was announced  by Jim Skinner, the company's CEO and vice chairman, at a press conference in Moscow dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the company's work in Russia.

Skinner said Russia would be one of the priority regions for the company's investment, since the market has been showing the top rates of growth for fast-food in the world.

“When we develop restaurants around the world, we look at the markets that can give the fastest return on investment, and Russia is undoubtedly one of those.”

In his interview to Vedomosti published on February 1, Skinner was very upbeat, talking about the progress McDonald’s has made in the Russian market.

“Trying to describe the corporation’s achievements in Russia in one word, I’d say these were extraordinary. It took us about 12 – 14 years to negotiate the opening of the first McDonald’s restaurant in Moscow…However, today we have 245 restaurants in Russia, where 950,000 clients are served every day. The number of McDonald’s visitors in Russia is very high compared to the world average: Three out of the ten most-visited McDonald’s restaurants are in Russia."

And talking about the company’s plans, James Skinner said keeping the same growth rate would be a priority in the near future.

“Our chain grew by 12% last year. We plan to open 45 restaurants in 2010, and to retain this pace of growth is our goal for the coming three to five years.”