ECONOMY

Alfa-Beta continues to expand

Supermarket chain Alfa-Beta Vassilopoulos, which is majority-owned by Belgium’s Delhaize, opened four new branches in the second quarter of the year and plans to open another about 10 more by the end of 2009, the company said yesterday. For the year, eight new company-owned branches will be opened, while an additional five to six stores will start operating on a franchised basis, bringing the total number of stores to some 215, a company source said. The new stores will open in Attica and other parts of Greece. Alfa-Beta Vassilopoulos’s 2009 investment plans reach 65 million euros and include the opening of new stores and the construction of storage facilities in Oinofyta, north of Athens, scheduled to be finished by the end of 2010. Shares in Alfa-Beta Vassilopoulos eased 0.03 percent on the Athens bourse yesterday to 30.55 euros, pushing its market value to 339 million euros. The broader market fell 0.66 percent.