Portugal's Sonae to invest 725 mln euros in food retail business

LISBON, Oct 11 (Reuters) - Portugal’s Sonae, which owns the country’s largest food retailer, said on Friday it will invest up to 725 million euros by 2021 in the expansion, maintenance and improvement of its supermarket stores across the country.

Food retailer Sonae MC operates 173 Continente hypermarkets and large supermarkets and expects growth in the Portuguese market to be among the fastest in Europe in coming years, including for smaller local stores.

In a presentation shared via Portugal’s CMVM market regulator, Sonae said it expected to open up to 60 new smaller Continente stores and four to eight larger supermarkets in the next three years.

During the first six months of 2019, Sonae Group’s profit fell 53% to 38 million euros compared to the same period in 2018. (Reporting by Patrícia Vicente Rua Writing by Catarina Demony; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)