Local retailer Mercator generated revenues of €2.6bn (£2.4bn) in 2009 - a 2.4% decrease, which it attributed to the depreciation of the Serbian currency.

The group’s profit plummeted 48.2% year on year to €21.1m (£19.1m), which it attributed to the economic turmoil.

Mercator’s expenditure halved to €159.2m (£144.4m) in 2009, yet it expanded into Bulgaria and Albania during the year. The retailer anticipates 2010 will be as challenging as 2009 and plans to invest €120m (£108.8m), 55% of which will be allocated to its foreign markets.