Carl's Jr. to Open 50 Franchise Restaurants in the Russian Federation
Jul 6, 2005
Development Part of U.S.-Based Chain's International Expansion Strategy
CARPINTERIA, Calif. -- July 6 -- CKE Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE: CKR) announced today that its subsidiary and popular U.S. hamburger chain, Carl's Jr.(R), closed a deal to develop 50 new franchise restaurants in the Russian Federation over the next eight years. The company has entered into a franchise and development agreement with Bright Star LLC, and expects to open Russia's first Carl's Jr. in early 2006.
CKE Restaurants, Inc.'s international presence has been steadily increasing, with a combined total of 204 Carl's Jr. and Hardee's(R) restaurants, currently operating in 13 countries. Ned Lyerly, CKE Restaurants vice president, international, said that the strategic expansion into Russia was based on the country's growing economic capability and its broad acceptance of western goods and services. "The Russian Federation is a dynamic, emerging market with a strong appetite for western food. Our premium burgers will be a perfect fit," said Lyerly.
Bright Star LLC is one of the leading food companies in Russia. "Our goal is to take a leadership position in the Russian fast food market," said Paul Pasco, director of Bright Star LLC. "The Carl's Jr. concept is the perfect vehicle to achieve this goal. During our fact-finding visit to the United States last year we met with most of the players in this market segment and ate a lot of burgers. Carl's Jr. was far and away our first choice."
To develop the project, Bright Star has assembled a team that is well versed in the Russian marketplace. "With this team, along with the help of CKE's international division, we believe we can make quite a splash in the local market," said Pasco. "CKE has tremendous experience working in developing countries, and understands the flexibility needed in such a venture. That flexibility, along with the concept itself, made CKE very attractive for our shareholders as well as our management team."
"Bright Star LLC and CKE are an excellent fit," said Lyerly. "Bright Star is a highly professional, principled firm with strong knowledge of the Russian foodservice market. Their passion for the Carl's Jr. brand and overall enthusiasm for the project were key elements contributing to the successful conclusion of our negotiations."
As of the first fiscal quarter ended May 23, 2005, CKE Restaurants, Inc., through its subsidiaries, had a total of 3,165 franchised or company-owned restaurants in 44 states and in 12 countries, including 1,020 Carl's Jr. restaurants, 2,029 Hardee's(R) restaurants and 100 La Salsa Fresh Mexican Grill(R) restaurants.
SAFE HARBOR DISCLOSURE
Matters discussed in this news release contain forward-looking statements relating to future plans and developments, financial goals and operating performance that are based on management's current beliefs and assumptions. Such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause the Company's results to differ materially from those described include, but are not limited to, whether or not restaurants will be closed and the number of restaurant closures, consumers' concerns or adverse publicity regarding the Company's products, effectiveness of operating and product initiatives and advertising and promotional efforts (particularly at the Hardee's brand), changes in economic conditions or prevailing interest rates, changes in the price or availability of commodities, availability and cost of energy, workers' compensation, employee health insurance costs and general liability premiums and claims experience, changes in the Company's suppliers' abilities to provide quality and timely products to the Company, delays in opening new restaurants or completing remodels, severe weather conditions, the operational and financial success of the Company's franchisees, franchisees' willingness to participate in our strategy, availability of financing for the Company and its franchisees, unfavorable outcomes on litigation, changes in accounting policies and practices, new legislation or government regulation (including environmental laws), the availability of suitable locations and terms for the sites designed for development, and other factors as discussed in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward- looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law or the rules of the New York Stock Exchange.