Belgian discount retailer Colruyt has said that it is looking out for potential acquisition targets on the domestic market and in neighbouring France.

“We will continue expanding our network in Belgium and are looking to cover the entire French market,” Colruyt chief executive Rene De Wit was quoted by Dow Jones International News as saying.

The company posted a 32.2% rise in net profit to €78.5m (US$99.4m) for the first half of its financial year to 1 March 2004. First-half sales were €1.8bn, a rise of 18.1% from the year-ago period.

De Wit said Colruyt would continue to expand in Belgium via targeted acquisitions, while in France the company is also looking for acquisitions.

“We are looking for fill-in acquisitions particularly in the North and the Pyrenees,” De Wit was quoted as saying. “We will then cover all of France and will be able to fully integrate our networks.”