HD Covalco, the largest licensee of Spar stores in Spain, is to open another 90 stores in the country.

The family-owned company, which also owns the Coaliment co-operative, as well as some 61 Comerco and BonMerkat cash-and-carry stores, said Spar sales rose 19% last year.

HD Covalco director Josep Saperas said many of the new Spar stores opened in Spain have been opened by immigrants wishing to run their own businesses.

In 2006, the Catalan company recorded turnover of EUR356m (US$478.5m).