Retail Property - KFC plans 58 openings in £25m expansion drive

KFC, the UK's number one fast-food chicken operator, has announced a target of 58 new restaurants openings this year. The move is part of a commitment to invest£25 million a year on expanding its portfolio.

The target comes on top of 56 store openings last year and, at the present rate of growth, KFC will occupy more than 650 UK restaurants by the end of this year. The new branches will cover all of KFC's formats: drive-thrus, high street restaurants and food courts.

KFC is a division of the world's largest restaurant company, Yum! Brands Inc, based in Louisville, Kentucky. It operates 30,000 KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell restaurants in more than 100 countries.

Total worldwide sales were more than US$22 billion (£13.75 billion) in 2001.

KFC general manager Justin Ash said: 'KFC is committed to building its brand in the UK, which is a market that continues to provide us with great growth opportunities. Our new stores will be instrumental in helping us to achieve our expansion goals.'

KFC retains a network of agents across the country to find sites. John Britton Associates covers Scotland; Brady CS the Northwest; King Sturge the Northeast, Wales and the Southwest; CDS Development Services the Midlands; Dodson Jones the East of England and Dalgleish and Gooch Cunliffe London.