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DENVER-Though it’s opening its first restaurant in Toronto this year, Chipotle Mexican Grill’s expansion will remain focused on existing markets in the United States, executives said at the company’s second quarter conference call.

The company continues to expect 130 to 140 new restaurants openings in 2008, said Founder, Chairman and CEO Steve Ells. About two-thirds of the openings will be in well-established markets, with the remainder in newer markets.

“International expansion is not a key driver of our growth strategy,” Ells said.

Chipotle does not expect to cut back growth in 2009, unless space isn’t available.

“We’re still building our pipeline for 2009,” Ells said. “It does seem some developers are slow getting out of the ground. It may be that forces not under our control may force us to slow down.”

Sales increased 24.2% from the previous year to $340.8 million, while comp-store sales rose 7.1%. Net income increased 22.5% to $24.5 million

Chipotle opened its first restaurant in 1993 and currently operates over 775 restaurants.

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