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Burger King plots expansion in sub-Saharan Africa

Restaurant Brands International Inc.'s Burger King is planning to speed up its international expansion by opening restaurants in sub-Saharan African countries including Nigeria, the Financial Times reported Oct. 10, citing Daniel Schwartz, chief executive of Restaurant Brands.

The move is in line with the company's efforts to better compete with McDonald's Corp., the report said.

The world's second-biggest hamburger chain was "significantly under-penetrated" in the continent and sees huge opportunity there, Schwartz said.

Burger King is expected to open 1,000 restaurants by the end of the year, most of which will be in Asia and Europe, the report said. It has about 17,000 restaurants as compared to McDonald's, which has more than 37,000 restaurants worldwide, the report added.

José Cil, president of Burger King, said fast-food restaurants "aren't really well penetrated yet" in sub-Saharan Africa. "We think Nigeria is an amazing opportunity, we think east Africa as well," Cil added.

In 2017, Burger King entered into a multi-country development agreement with Air France-KLM SA-owned Servair to grow in the region and expand its footprint in markets including Kenya and Ivory Coast.