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Last Updated: Monday, 17 July 2006, 07:43 GMT 08:43 UK
Polish retailer bought by Tesco
Tesco store in Poland
Tesco has been expanding its overseas interests
UK supermarket giant Tesco has bought the Polish convenience retailer Leader Price in a deal worth 72m ($133m).

Leader Price - which has been sold by its owner, French retailer Casino - operates more than 220 stores across Poland employing nearly 2,200 people.

Tesco entered the Polish market in 1995 and currently operates 107 stores there employing more than 20,000 staff.

Tesco said the deal would help it grow its business "in the highly fragmented and competitive Polish market".

"After ten years of trading in Poland, Tesco has built up a strong local business," said Kevin Grace, chief executive of Tesco Poland.

Tesco, the UK's largest supermarket chain, has been expanding rapidly abroad as it seeks new opportunities away from the congested domestic market.

In its last financial year, international sales grew by 23% - against a 10.7% increase in the UK - and non-UK sales now account for almost a quarter of Tesco's total revenues.

Eastern Europe has become a target for the firm.

As well as being active in Poland it also has interests in Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

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