Portuguese food distributor Jeronimo Martins will invest zł.6 billion (€1.4 billion) over the next three years in Poland, the group’s CEO Pedro Soares dos Santos told business daily Puls Biznesu. The group wants to expand its discount supermarket chain Biedronka by about 800 stores.
Jeronimo Martins wants to expand its top-earning chain to a total of 3,000 units
Courtesy of Jeronimo Martins
It currently operates over 2,200 Biedronka stores in Poland, which is the group’s biggest market. Biedronka alone accounted for 65.5 percent of the group’s sales in the first six months of the year.
“Today Poland is the most important market for us – it generates almost 70 percent of our group’s revenues and therefore we channel 70 percent of our investment outlays here,” Mr Soares said.
Jeronimo Martins has been present in Poland since 1995 and has already invested zł.8 billion in its stores in 800 Polish cities. The group employs more than 40,000 people in the country.
It recorded €165 million in profit from its worldwide operations in the first half of the year, 9 percent more than in the corresponding period of 2012. Its higher profit is mainly due to increased sales in Poland and Portugal.
For the first 11 years after its acquisition in 1997, the discount supermarket chain mainly brought losses. But for the past several years it has been increasingly profitable. “We invest long-term … and we believe that we will be able to grow organically in Poland long after 2015,” Mr Soares said.
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