Finnish retailer Kesko is eyeing a move into the Russian grocery sector.

The company is mulling a move into Russia’s grocery market two years after setting up its first hardware retail outlets in the country in St. Petersburg.

“We have a plan and a strategy but they are only plans,” a Kesko spokesman told just-food today (20 July).

Kesko runs a food retail business in Finland but focuses on hardware outside its domestic market.

Earlier this week, Kesko posted a rise in first-half profits thanks to growth in domestic grocery sales and a drive to keep costs down.

Underlying group operating profit reached EUR156.6m (US$215.9m) during the first six months of the year. That compared to EUR126m a year ago. Group turnover rose to EUR4.7bn, a rise of 9.6% on the year.