Dutch supermarket chain Hema has announced its aim to increase the number of supermarkets it has in Belgium from 25 to 75 in the next few years.

The company also wants to increase its number of stores in the Netherlands from the 257 supermarkets it currently operates now, opening between five and ten stores each year.

Hema aims to expand its total network from 280 stores to 700, through expansion into France, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Austria and Luxembourg, as well as the increases in Belgium and the Netherlands.

For the first half of 2002, the company recorded a turnover of €438m (US$431.9m), which it aims to increase to €2bn over the next three years, reported the Belgian News Digest.