August 24, 2017 / 1:47 PM / 2 years ago

Papa John's Russian franchisee to expand in Central Asia, Poland

The Papa John's store in Westminster, Colorado, U.S. August 1, 2017. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

MOSCOW (Reuters) - U.S. pizza chain Papa John’s International Inc (PZZA.O) plans to expand into of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Poland, the company’s franchisee in Russia and Belarus said on Thursday.

PJ Western, the franchisee, will open 16 restaurants in Kazakhstan by 2022, with the first scheduled to open in Almaty this autumn, it said in a statement.

The company also plans to open six restaurants in Kyrgyzstan’s capital city of Bishkek and 23 in Poland over the next three to five years.

Tim O’Hern, chief development officer of Papa John’s International, said the company is excited about the expansion plans after it had success in Russia and Belarus.

Chris Wynne, co-owner and CEO of PJ Western, told Reuters last month that the company was embarking on an aggressive expansion to small Russian towns and saw room for 60-80 store openings a year in the country over the next five years.

Reporting by Maria Kiselyova; Editing by David Goodman

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