Russian retailer X5 Retail Group is to open 540 stores in 2011 as the country’s largest retailer by sales continues its expansion.

In a trading update, X5 said it expects gross sales to exceed RUR500bn (US$16.32bn), inclusive of VAT, in 2011, representing top-line-growth of around 40%.

The firm said it expects the increase to be driven by organic net sales growth “in the low 20% range” on a higher base compared to 2010, with the remainder contributed by the Kopeyka acquisition, announced earlier this month.

In addition, X5 said it hopes to open 500 discount stores, 20-25 supermarkets, five to ten hypermarkets,and ten Pyaterochka Maxi stores.

X5 CEO Lev Khasis said the firm is “on track” to deliver on X5’s 2010 outlook for top-line-growth “in the low 20% range”, supported by a “recovery in consumer spending and trading-up trends” in the fourth quarter.

He added: “We believe this is the right time to further accelerate growth. X5 recently completed the acquisition of Kopeyka, adding to opportunities for our industry-leading discounter format and complementing our core organic growth strategy. Today we are proud to announce the company’s 2011 outlook, with plans to significantly increase the pace of organic expansion.”

X5 will issue its preliminary annual outlook in January 2011 in conjunction with its fourth-quarter trading announcement. The firm also today announced the appointment of ex-Mars Inc executive Keiran Balfe as its CFO.