1/28/2008

Tesco's Turkish unit plans 5-year $1.5 bln expansion

Reuters - Tesco's Turkish retail chain Kipa will invest $1.5 billion over the next five years as it establishes 100 stores in the fast-growing economy, it said. The expansion of the Tesco Kipa chain, currently comprising just 12 stores, is expected to boost its revenues to $5 billion once the new stores are operational, spokesman Gurcan Onol told a news conference. Tesco's expansion in Turkey, one of 13 countries where it operates, is part of an international push by the world's third largest food merchant after Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Carrefour to offset slowing growth at home in Britain. Kipa aims to double its revenue to $2 billion in the financial year ending March 2009 and will hit a target of $1 billion in sales for this financial year. The retailer did not rule out acquisitions, Onol said, without giving details. "We will be one of the first two or three leading chains to have reached 100 stores with organic growth alone," he added. Tesco follows other international retailers which are rapidly expanding in Turkey where the economy is seen growing 5 percent this year, whereas forecast growth for the euro zone is less than 2 percent.

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