CKE Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE: CKR – News) is celebrating the opening of its 100th Carl’s Jr. restaurant in Mexico. Located in Aguascalientes, Mexico, the newly built 100th unit is operated by licensee Ricardo Cardenas.

“For the past 17 years, CKE Restaurants has experienced enormous success in Mexico and we are pleased to announce this important milestone in our ongoing expansion effort,” says Andrew F. Puzder, president and CEO of CKE Restaurants.

Mexico is a flagship market for Carl’s Jr. and hosts some of the highest volume restaurants in the CKE system. Carl’s Jr. entered the Mexico market in 1991 with licensee Junior Foods, who operates 24 Carl’s Jr. units in Monterrey and two restaurants in Saltillo, making them the largest licensee in Mexico. ICR, a Carl’s Jr. licensee since 1992, operates 23 restaurants in the states of Baja California and Sonora. Currently, Carl’s Jr. restaurants are operating in 17 Mexican states and the Federal District, represented by 13 franchise groups. Expansion plans for 2009 include opening Carl’s Jr. restaurants in the new markets of Queretaro and Tampico, Mexico.

Earlier this year, CKE Restaurants announced the opening of its 300th international restaurant in Saudi Arabia and has previously announced strategic development plans to double its international presence to more than 600 restaurants within the next five years. International units comprise about 10 percent of the CKE system with plans to grow to 20 percent by 2014. In its most recent fiscal year ended January 28, 2008, the company opened 50 new international franchise restaurants, the highest one-year total in company history.

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