Dia plans to invest EUR100m (US$134.9m) in opening 400 discount supermarkets in Spain next year.

The company plans to continue opening between 25-30 stores a year, a company official confirmed general manager, Ricardo Curras, as telling local press.

The Carrefour-owned chain is also forecasting that sales will rise 0.5% this year as it continues to increase its market share, which is expected to reach 7.3%, from 6.8% in 2009.

Approximately 40% of the upcoming 400 outlets will be opened as franchises and self-owned outlets, continuing the model the company has used for over 20 years, the official said.

Globally, Dia is forecasting a 4% sales rise, thanks to the strong performance in its China, Brazil, Turkey and Argentina units, where sales should rise at double-digit rates, Curras said. Dia is also looking to enter new markets in South America and Europe.

Additionally, Curras dismissed reports that Carrefour is considering selling Dia, describing them as “rumours.”