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Carrefour to invest $565 mln per year in Brazil

France-headquartered hypermarket chain Carrefour announced Thursday that it would invest one billion reais (about $565 million) each year in Brazil in the 2008-2010 period.

The company’s superintendent in the country, Jean Marc-Pueyo, said the amount does not include eventual acquisitions, although the group is „open” to that possibility. „It depends on the price and it depends on whether it makes sense with our strategy,” the executive told the local press.

In April, Carrefour acquired local supermarket chain Atacadao for 2.2 billion reais (about $1.24 billion). The operation led the French group to climb to top in Brazil’s retail market ranking, previously occupied by the Pao de Acucar Group. Marc-Pueyo estimated that the company’s sales in the country would amount to 20 billion reais (about $11.3 billion) in 2007, up from 12.9 billion reais (about $7.3 billion) in 2006. Brazil is Carrefour’s third biggest market in terms of sales, following France and Spain. The superintendent said that Carrefour intends to open 70 new stores in 2008 in Brazil, where it currently operates 490 stores.

Carrefour has invested 2.8 billion reais (about $1.58 billion) in the Brazilian market in 2007. Last week, US-headquartered retailer Wal-Mart announced investment of 1.2 billion reais (about $678 million) in Brazil next year, including setting up 36 stores and a distribution center. (