International News - Tesco sales to hit EUR1bn in Poland

Tesco is expected to hit the EUR1 billion (£692.3 million) sales mark in Poland this calendar year, consolidating its position as the number two retailer there behind German player Metro.

The growth, forecast by IGD, follows Tesco's rise from sixth to second place in the Polish retail league over the past year.

Since the British grocer's acquisition of the HIT chain in 2002 - doubling store numbers - Tesco has overtaken Carrefour, Auchan, Casino and Jeronimo Martins.

Six players have also left the market since 2002, including German groups Rewe and Dohle, as a result of increased price competition.

IGD business manager Louise Spillard said: 'These exits, combined with subsequent consolidation, will lead to a number of leaders emerging. There is huge scope for Tesco's development in Poland. We will also see it moving from major cities to the regions, expanding its appeal to consumers, as well as its geographic presence.'

In the long term, Tesco could challenge Metro for the top spot in Poland.

The IGD also believes that more retailers will exit Poland as the leaders strengthen their grip. Spillard believed that French retailer Leclerc might choose to abandon its Polish ambitions.

Tesco has 35 stores in Poland and is to open three more this month, in Szczawno-Zdroj, Tarnowskie Gory and Skierniewice in southwest, south and central Poland respectively.