Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Jeronimo Martins eyes Romania, Ukraine expansion

WARSAW, Sept 25 (Reuters) - Portugal's second-largest retailer Jeronimo Martins (JMT.LS: Quote, Profile, Research) plans to expand its Polish Biedronka retail chain to Romania and Ukraine, management board chief Alexandre Soares dos Santos said on Tuesday.

"We have a lot to do in Poland, but we are studying the possibility of expanding the Biedronka brand to Romania and eventually Ukraine," Soares dos Santos told reporters.

The retailer earlier said it would invest 500 million euros

($703.9 million) in 2007 through 2009 in Poland, opening 120 new Biedronka stores a year in the country and a new distribution centre in the first quarter of 2008.

The group opened its 1,000th Biedronka retail outlet in Poland on Monday. Shares in Jeronimo Martins were down 0.3 percent to 4.04 euros by 1108 GMT, outperforming Lisbon's main PSI20 (.PSI20: Quote, Profile, Research) index which was down 2 percent.

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