(MENAFN - AFP) Portuguese food distributor Jeronimo Martins will pump 1.4 billion euros over three years into its supermarket chain in Poland, its largest market, the CEO said in an interview published Monday.
The group will invest around six billion zloty (1.4 billion euros, 1.85 billion) into the Biedronka chain through 2015, CEO Pedro Soares dos Santos told the Polish economic daily Puls Biznesu.
"This year our investment outlays in Poland will reach approximately 2.1 billion zloty, and are likely to remain at the same level in the next two years," dos Santos said.
He said the investment will increase Poland's Biedronka store count to 3,000 from more than 2,200 shops today.
"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," he added.
Present in Poland since 1995, Jeronimo Martins has to date invested eight billion zloty into its stores in 800 cities across the EU country of 38 million.
The group employs more than 40,000 people in Poland.
Worldwide the group posted 165 million euros in profit in the first half of the year, up nine percent on an annual basis, thanks to increased sales in Poland and Portugal.
Biedronka, which means ladybug in Polish, accounted for 65.5 percent of Jeronimo Martins's sales in the first half of the year. Its Portuguese brand Pingo Doce accounted for 26.9 percent.