Ladies fashion chain Hobbs will run a slide rule over opportunities in India next year, as part of its ambitious global expansion plans.

Hobbs chief executive Nick Samuel said international growth in countries such as India would help it double the group's turnover to£200 million over the next few years.

Samuel told Retail Week that he plans to start exploring opportunities in India early next year and will speak to potential partners at that time.

Under Indian foreign direct investment rules, western retailers selling multiple brands have to team up with a local partner to enter India.

Samuel said the promotion of finance director Nicky Dulieu to chief operating officer would free him up to focus on Hobbs' long-term strategy. Dulieu is responsible for the day-to-day running of the business, but will continue with her finance director responsibilities until a replacement is found.

Hobbs is also considering opening in China, Japan and Korea. The retailer will open its first store on the US East Coast in the next 12 months. Next month, it will open a shop-in-shop in Hong Kong.

In addition, Hobbs will launch a transactional web site in October. Samuel said: "We hope that this will help us geographically in the areas where we are not or cannot be."

Samuel said Hobbs delivered strong sales this year until the wet summer weather led to a marked decrease in footfall.

In the 12 months to January 27, sales shot up 24.2 per cent.