Pizza giants cut deal in Riga

  • 2005-06-29
  • Baltic News Service
VILNIUS - Lithuania's Cilija pizza chain has acquired two Pizza Jazz restaurants in the Latvian capital. Company officials said that after major renovation the two restaurants 's including the popular one on Dome Square 's would be opened under the Cili Pica brand name by the end of the summer.

"We are pursuing expansion in various directions. This transaction is particularly successful as we have acquired former rival pizza restaurants that have been opened in convenient locations," said Mindaugas Gumauskas, Cilija marketing director.

"This purchase will give a strong impetus to further strengthen Cili Pica's position in Latvia," he added.

Cilija's sales in Latvia surged by 76 percent to 10.2 million litas (3 million euros) last year from 5.8 million litas in 2003. The Cili Pica chain in Latvia is expected to expand to 10 outlets, from the present six.

In the first three months of 2005, Cilija's sales in Lithuania and Latvia came in at 19.4 million litas, a surge of 59 percent versus the year-earlier figure. For full 2004, Cilija posted Baltic sales of 65.9 million litas, a surge of 53.6 percent year-on-year.

The pizza chain, which employs a workforce of 1,650, serviced on average 30,000 customers per day in 2004.

In Lithuania, Cilija's chain comprises 15 Cili Pica pizza parlors, four Cili Kaimas cuisine restaurants, two Cili Kinija Chinese restaurants, two Cili Express snack bars, three Cili Bistros, Plento Baras, a bar in the outskirts of Vilnius and two Cili Kava coffee houses.