France's Casino Group has announced it will open stores in Serbia after signing a partnership deal with the country's Sodibal.

The alliance allows for Casino to promote its brand name across the Balkans region, via the opening of stores and the import of Casino-branded products, it said today (11 January).

Financial details of the alliance were not disclosed. Casino said that it will be able to use Sodibal's local knowledge to expand rapidly in food retail in the region.

"The first step will to expand the Casino supermarket in Serbia," said Casino. The firm plans to open an initial seven stores in Belgrade this year, which will stock Casino products exclusively.