Value fashion group Peacocks has revived its international ambitions with plans to double its overseas store count.

Peacocks will open 30 international franchise stores in the next financial year alone, increasing its portfolio by 50 per cent, with further openings to come.

The overseas expansion plan mirrors chief executive Richard Kirk’s ambition to double UK store numbers to 1,000.

The strategy will strengthen Peacock’s appeal to potential buyers, which are understood to include Bahrain investment fund Arcapita and private equity firms PAI and Cinven.

This week, Kirk dampened the prospect of an£800 million sale or refinancing before Christmas, because of the turmoil on the global debt markets.

The retailer’s international division accounts for almost 5 per cent of the retailer’s£500 million turnover. Group operations director Neil Burns said: “We are allowing our franchise partners to ramp up store openings. We will stabilise at 5 per cent as the main UK chain grows.”

The initiative follows a hiatus in Peacocks’ international expansion plans after it opened 60 stores in three years.

“While international was successful for us, it could be distracting,” said Burns. “We have spent the past year getting back to basics.”

The openings will focus on existing markets, predominantly Russia and Turkey, where it is due to open a further store on December 15.

Peacocks has franchises in other countries including Ukraine, Cyprus, Malta, Slovakia, Czech Republic and the Middle East.