Wal-Mart de Mexico, or Walmex, has said that it will invest MXN11.9bn (US$1.14bn) to increase its sales floor space by 14%, the company said after shareholders approved the proposed expansion yesterday (28 February).

The company has committed to investing the money to open 120 new stores and modernise existing outlets throughout 2006. This compares to last year’s investment of MXN8.13bn which opened 95 new stores.

“We continue to see constant, continuous and profitable growth,” chief executive Eduardo Solorzano said at a meeting with analysts, Reuters News reported.

The majority shareholder of Walmex is US retail powerhouse Wal-Mart. With a total of 790 stores throughout Mexico, Wal-Mart de Mexico has rapidly expanded to dominate the Mexican retail sector.

Earlier this month, the company reported strong fourth quarter earnings and a stock split. In yesterday’s shareholders meeting, a dividend of MXN0.38 per share was approved, as was the company’s MXN8bn share buy-back scheme.