MOSCOW: McDonald's, the fast-food chain, has announced plans to expand its operations in Russia by opening its first outposts in Siberia, east of the Ural Mountains.

Speaking to the Moscow Times, Viktor Eidemiller, vice president of development for McDonald's Russia, said the company is "actively looking into the possibility of opening restaurants in [the Siberian cities of] Novosibirsk, Barnaul, Tomsk and Novokuznetsk," as well as Krasnoyarsk.

The company is wanting to capitalise on the positive trend of 5% sales growth in Europe that it reported in the first quarter of 2012, which was driven by strong revenues from Russia and the UK.

Gaining market share from competitor brands is also a factor in its Siberian expansion. Rival fast-food franchise KFC already has branches in five major cities in Siberia. Similarly, Subway, the sandwich chain, has 36 Siberian outlets.

Facilitating new growth in Russia will require an extension of McDonald's supply chain. In the first instance, according to Eidmiller, the Siberian stores will get their food items from a logistics centre midway between Moscow and the Urals.

"We have to consider the possibilities for obtaining real estate that makes it possible for us to create a chain, so that the logistics and logistics management will be effective," said Khamzat Khasbulatov, president of McDonald's Russia.

The company opened its first Russian restaurant in 1990 and now has more than 300 locations and 30,000 employees in the country.

Data sourced from The Moscow Times; additional content by Warc staff