VILNIUS - Cilija, the Lithuania-based operator of the Cili pizza parlors and numerous other brand-name restaurants, has announced that consolidated sales over the first half of the year amounted to 73.2 million litas (21.2 million euros), up 33 percent year-on-year.
The result testifies to the company's successful expansion plan, particularly in Latvia, where the Cili pizza restaurants are enormously popular.
Sales in Latvia soared 66 percent to 17.4 million litas over the first half of the year. Riga alone has 12 Cili pizza parlors, and five franchises have already been set up outside the capital 's two in Liepaja, two in Jelgava and one in Valmiera.
In Lithuania, the sales of the chain, which include the popular Kaimas restaurants, rose by some 20 percent to 54.3 million litas, Cilija said in a statement.
Mindaugas Gumauskas, Cilija marketing manager, attributed the growth of sales to the continued fast expansion of the chain and the growing number of customers.
The first Cili pizza restaurant opened in 1997 in Vilnius. Now the Cilija line contains two Chinese restaurants (Chilli China), three bistros (Chilli Bistro), four coffee cafes (Chilli Coffee), as well as others.
Late in 2006, Cilija entered the catering markets of Poland, Romania and Ukraine. The best results were achieved in Ukraine, with sales of two Cili pizza restaurants in that country exceeded 1.9 million litas.
In 2007 Cilija aims to open more than 10 new pizza restaurants abroad, including the company's first restaurant in Estonia.
The chain currently comprises 45 self-owned and seven franchises and cafes in Lithuania and 26 outlets abroad.
Last year the company's consolidated sales soared 32.8 percent to almost 126 million litas.