McDonald's signs second franchising deal in Russia

August 21, 2015 5:26 AM EDT

MOSCOW (Reuters) - McDonald's Corp. (NYSE: MCD) said on Friday it had signed its second deal with a Russian franchisee which will help it to expand in remote Siberian regions.

Under the deal, Russian company GiD Llc will open up to 20 fast-food restaurants in the Novosibirsk, Tomsk, Kemerovo, and Altai regions in coming years.

McDonald's, which has operated in Russia for 25 years, already has more than 500 restaurants in 120 Russian cities servicing more than 1 million customers per day.

Unlike in the United States, it has focused on developing its own restaurants in Russia and its first and until now only Russian franchising deal was signed in 2012.

"We are confident that the use of the franchising scheme will be a next step in the successful development of our business and will contribute to a further strengthening of the McDonald's brand in Russia," McDonald's Russian Chief Executive Khamzat Khasbulatov said in a statement.

Khasbulatov told Reuters in January McDonald's would open fewer new restaurants in Russia this year than last because a fall in the rouble has increased expansion costs and was hurting consumers.

Last year, the U.S. fast-food chain was hit by a string of snap inspections by a Russian state regulator, which were widely seen as retaliation for the West's sanctions against Moscow over its role in the Ukraine crisis.

(Reporting by Maria Kiselyova, editing by David Evans)

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