Italian supermarket chain Conad Adriatico, which operates in the regions of Marches, Abruzzo, Molise and Apulia, will invest €69.5m (US$83.8m) in 2005 and 2006 to develop its supermarket network, according to the news agency ANSA.

Conad Adriatico, part of local supermarket chain Conad, will invest in the opening of two new hypermarkets, measuring 11,500 square metres in total, and seven supermarkets, measuring 6,500 square metres in total.

The chain will officially open a new 5,500 square metre hypermarket in the province of Foggia, southern Italy, in October 2005.

Conad Adriatico also plans to open a new 1,100 square metre supermarket near Teramo, central Italy, an 800 square metre supermarket near Foggia, and a 350 square metre supermarket near Ascoli Piceno, central Italy.

In 2006, Conad will open a 6,000 square metre hypermarket and two supermarkets in L'Aquila, central Italy, along with two supermarkets in Campobasso and Bari.

Conad Adriatico's retail sales reached €605m in 2004, of which €138m were generated by sales in hypermarkets.