In the first half this year, Pizza Hut reported sales of 4.5 million euros, slightly below last year’s level.

“The first-half performance was slightly poorer than a year earlier, largely due to the decline in average check and devaluation of the local currency. Actually, it is a legitimate evolution given the current economic crisis”, Carmen Lupulet (photo) told Wall-Street.

The company has earmarked 600,000 euros to the opening of a new Pizza Hut restaurant and a PHD unit. American Restaurant System plans to increase its chain by two more outlets this year, and said it hadn’t relinquished any project due to the financial crisis. American Restaurant System’s network includes 13 Pizza Hut restaurants and three PHD units.

A cost-containment measure adopted by the company was the renegotiation of rents, coupled with lower supply prices. This efficiency improvement strategy did not include any layoffs or pay freeze.

As for the local restaurant market, Lupulet describes it as struggling, fluctuating and dynamic, given the number of outlets opened and closed down. Furthermore, the number of clients fell 2% in first half this year compared to the same period of last year.