The Max Brenner chocolate company, a fully owned subsidiary of Israeli food manufacturer Elite, is expanding its international operations by opening three new branches.

The branches, to be operated on a franchise basis using the name Chocolate Bar, are in Edinburgh, Singapore and Sydney. The Chocolate Bar branch in Singapore has been established by a local businessman at an investment of US$300,000, while the new branch in Sydney, opened also at a cost of $300,000, is the third Max Brenner outlet in that city.

According to a statement by the company, the Harvey Nichols chain in the UK decided to market the Max Brenner line as the chain's leading chocolate product. The new branch to be opened soon in Edinburgh will have on display chocolate flowing  in transparent pipes and huge blocks of chocolate, in different stages of processing for the end consumer.

On another sweet product, the Israeli Lachmy confectionery, producing high-quality cookies, will be marketed in hundreds of sales points in supermarket chains in West Europe, following agreements reached between the Israeli cookie-maker and several European distribution companies in the UK, Spain, Belgium and France. The company expects that its sales in 2003 will amount to €1.5m (US$1.6m), as reported in Maariv.