(Updates with markets being analyzed in first paragraph.)
July 27 (Bloomberg) -- Jeronimo Martins SGPS SA, the Portuguese operator of the Polish Biedronka grocery chain, said it may announce expansion into a new market this year as it studies targets in eastern Europe and South America.
“I don’t exclude that we could announce it this year,” Luis Palha, chairman of the financial matters committee and former chief executive officer, said today in a conference call with analysts. The company sold a Brazilian supermarket chain in 2002.
Jeronimo Martins gets most of its revenue from Biedronka, Poland’s biggest discount grocer, and it’s the second-biggest retailer in Portugal, behind rival Sonae Distribuicao. The company’s first-half net income rose 41 percent to 144 million euros ($209 million), as sales rose 18 percent.
The company forecast “double-digit” sales growth this year and said it expects earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization to outpace revenue growth.
Jeronimo Martins would face difficulties finding acquisition targets in Poland given the company’s market share in that country, Palha said.
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