Russian confectioner French Kiss has announced the launch of a production facility in Moscow.

The firm pumped RUB200m (US$3.8m) into the new facility, which replaces the existing plant and allows it to "more than double" its production capacity. The new facility has started production.

Private equity firm VIY Management last September acquired a majority stake in French Kiss. The company sells confectionery through 21 of its own stores in Moscow and 18 franchise outlets in other parts of the country.

It aims to be the largest producer and distributor of hand-made chocolate in Russia by 2017.

"The new production facility will enable French Kiss to deliver more attractive products to its clients and customers. We are delighted that the company continues to strengthen its position in the Russian market," said Andrey Yakunin, partner at VIYM.

A spokesperson for French Kiss told just-food the company is "currently considering the possibility of supplying their products to [mass-market] retail".