Jeronimo Martins, the operator of stores in Portugal and Poland, is to invest EUR1.3bn (US$1.95bn) in its business over the next three years.

The group told investors yesterday (10 November) that it would press on with expanding its operations in both countries.

Some 70% of the cash will go to Poland, where Jeronimo Martins runs the Biedronka chain. The Biedronka network numbers over 1,350 stores but the retailer wants to take that to more than 2,000 outlets by 2012.

Two weeks ago, Jeronimo Martins booked rising sales and earnings for the first nine months of 2009.

Back home, Jeronimo Martins plans to open around 20 Pingo Doce stores and five Recheio outlets.

"We expect the group to maintain a strong performance over 2010-2012 as both Pingo Doce and Biedronka will reap the benefits from their unique business models," Jeronimo Martins told investors.

The company also hinted that it would look to expand into "new geographies" with its "strongest business models".