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Cili Pizza set to expand

  • 2001-12-20
  • TBT staff
RIGA - Cili, one of Lithuania's largest pizza chains, is set to open a restaurant in Liepaja, western Latvia, by the end of this year and plans to expand its operations into the capital of Riga next year.

Asta Cepiene, head of marketing at Cilija, the owner of the chain, said the pizzerias would operate under the same trade name in Latvia.

Liepaja was chosen as the Latvian city where to start because as the closest Latvian town to Lithuania, it is visited by many Lithuanians, Cepiene said.

Cili pizzerias, which first opened in Vilnius some three years ago, are increasingly popular. "The main appeal of these pizzerias is their democratic appearance which allows people of different status and wealth to feel comfortable," Riga-based Russian business newspaper Bizness and Baltija wrote on Dec. 10. The average price of a medium sized pizza plus drink is $5 and the menu comprises 48 types of pizza, salads, soups, pastas, lasagnas and deserts.

In three years of operation Cilija's turnover has increased threefold, from $2.5 million in 1999 to a projected $6 million this year.

Cilija posted a turnover of 20 million litas ($5 million) for the first 10 months of this year, some 7 million litas more than in the same period a year ago.

Cilija now runs eight pizzerias in Vilnius and the Baltic Sea resort of Palanga. It also owns Cili Bistro fast-food restaurants.

The company follows Lithuanian owned Pizza Jazz onto the Latvian market.