CKE Restaurants Announces Opening of First Two Hardee's(R) Locations in Kazakhstan

CARPINTERIA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--CKE Restaurants, Inc., today announced the opening of two Hardee's® restaurants in Almaty, Kazakhstan. This marks the first of at least 12 Hardee's restaurants to be opened in Kazakhstan over the next five years. Hardee's is the first major western quick-service hamburger chain to open in the market.

Americana Group S.A.K. operates these restaurants and is the second largest licensee in the CKE system with 215 Hardee's restaurants throughout the Middle East and North Africa. CKE and the Americana Group have a successful 31-year relationship and plan continued growth in the Middle East and select Central and Western Asian countries.

"We have a long and successful history with the Americana Group and are confident that they will continue to use their expertise and passion for Hardee's as they expand in new and existing markets," said Andrew F. Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants, Inc. "Kazakhstan is a market with tremendous growth potential and we wanted to take this opportunity to employ a 'first-mover' strategy in our segment. In this regard, we are happy to introduce real, American-style charbroiled burgers to the market."

The Americana Group currently operates Hardee's in Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman where they have established the Hardee's brand as the place to go for quality food, innovative menu items and superior hospitality.

"The Americana Group has experienced great success with the Hardee's brand in the Middle East and take pride in being the first hamburger QSR brand to enter the Kazakhstan market," said Marzouk Al Kharafi, Chairman and Managing Director of Kuwait Food Company. "Hardee's premium products and excellent service standards will deliver an ultimate dining experience to Kazakhstan consumers seeking an enhanced dining experience in a fast-food setting."

CKE Restaurants has strategic development plans to double its international presence to more than 700 restaurants within the next five years. Currently international units comprise approximately 12% of the CKE system with plans to grow to 20% in the next five years.

About Hardee's

Celebrating 50 years in the quick-service industry, Hardee's Food Systems is a wholly owned subsidiary of CKE Restaurants, Inc. of Carpinteria, Calif. As of the end of Q1 fiscal 2012, CKE, through its subsidiaries, had a total of 3,182 franchised, licensed or company-operated restaurants in 42 states and in 20 countries, including 1,262 Carl's Jr.® restaurants and 1,909 Hardee's restaurants. For more information, visit www.ckr.com or www.hardees.com. Hardee's social media sites include www.facebook.com/hardees, www.twitter.com/hardees and www.youtube.com/hardees.

About Americana Group (Kuwait Food Company)

Since its inception in Kuwait in 1964, Americana Group has grown into one of the largest and most successful corporations in the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA). Publicly traded on the Kuwait Stock Exchange (FOOD.KW), Americana Group is managed to world-class corporate standards, with activities spanning 14 countries and a payroll of over 45,000 employees from 21 nationalities.

Americana Group's main lines of business are operating food & beverage outlets, as well as food manufacturing and processing. With a network of over 1,200 outlets, it is not only the largest operator of restaurant chains in the MENA region, but also one of the most successful franchise operators in the whole world. The Group's network include many of the world's most recognized brands in the Quick Service, Casual Dining and Fine Dining categories, such as KFC, Pizza Hut, Hardee's, TGI Friday's, Costa Coffee and Krispy Kreme.

In the food manufacturing and processing sector, Americana Group is recognized as the Middle East's leading purveyor of quality food products. Its portfolio includes a wide range of food products manufactured in 18 factories in 5 different countries and marketed across the region with well-known names like Americana, Farm Frites, California Garden, Koki and Greenland.

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