Russian retailer Dixy Group has seen its growth continue into 2008 with sales up 49% during the first three months of the year.

The company booked first-quarter sales of US$459m, buoyed in part by the opening of new stores.

Dixy operates 393 stores in Russia across four formats. The company's core business is discount retailing with some 372 namesake stores in its network.

A company spokesman said Dixy would look to open some 100 new stores this year, with the bulk of the investment on its eponymous outlets.

"We have an investment programme for 2008 of about US$180-200m, which would mean the opening of approximately 100 new stores. We will be focusing on our Dixy discounter format," the spokesman told just-food.

Russian conglomerate Mercury Group holds a majority stake in Dixy after investing in the business last December. Some 48% of Dixy remains publicly listed.