Belgium-based retailer Delhaize, which has stores in Europe, the US and parts of Asia, said today (1 December) it planned to expand its "high growth" operations over the next three years.

Delhaize outlined plans to open 450 outlets in the "high growth, newer" parts of its business between 2012 and 2014. South-eastern Europe, Asia, plus its Bottom Dollar and Red Market discount chains in the US and Europe would be the focus of the store openings, Delhaize said.

The announcement is the latest stage in Delhaize's plans to expand its operations in faster-growing markets. Two years ago, the retailer announced its New Game Plan strategy to expand in faster-growth markets and in the discount channel, as well as drive down costs.

The company said its newer operations had "contributed significantly" to its revenue and profit growth during the first two years of the New Game Plan strategy. Delhaize CEO Pierre-Olivier Beckers said the acquisition of Serbian retailer Delta Maxi earlier this year was expected to "substantially change the growth profile" of the retail giant.

The retailer expects the latest wave of expansion to help its annual sales growth to be 5-7% within three years. Delhaize has not provided a forecast for sales growth in 2011 but its revenues in the first nine months of the year were up only 0.4%.

Under the next phase of expansion, Delhaize is planning to open "hundreds" of Bottom Dollar Food stores in the US over the next five years.

The retailer added it was on track to exceed its 2009 target to cut costs by EUR500m (US$675.8m) by the end of 2012.

Shares in Delhaize had risen 1.06% to EUR44.27 at 14:27 CET.