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#5 - JRL 7023
McDonald's Invested Over $25 Million in Russia in 2002

MOSCOW. Jan 15 (Interfax) - McDonald's invested over $25 million on expanding its chain of fast-food restaurants in Russia, the company said in a press release.

McDonald's opened 22 eateries in Russia last year, with 12 in Moscow and the Moscow region, three in Voronezh, and one each in Rostov- on-the-Don, Yaroslavl, Novocherkassk, Almetyevsk, Kazan, Naberezhny Chelny and St Petersburg.

Russia currently has 94 McDonald's eateries in 27 cities. Every day they have about 300,000 customers. The company served over 114 million customers in 2002.

McDonald's is developing a new project, opening McCafe coffee houses in its restaurants. The first was opened at the end of last year at the McDonald's on the Arbat. Over $200,000 was invested in the project.

McDonald's plans to continue its expansion in 2003. Another 20 eateries are due to open this year, including in the new regions of Orenburg, Ufa and Sochi. The average cost of a restaurant is $1.5 million.

The company has invested over $250 million in its Russian business over 13 years. During this time it has also spent about $5 billion to support various charity projects.

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