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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kingfisher Speeds Up Castorama Plans

Kingfisher, Europe's largest home improvement retailer, said it would accelerate plans to open 50 Castorama stores in Russia to tap the "phenomenal growth" in the housing industry.

Kingfisher may reach the 50-store target in seven years, Yevgeny Movchan, commercial director for Castorama, said at a conference on Friday. Kingfisher said in July that it would spend at least ?250 million ($504 million) opening 50 outlets over the next decade. The first will open Oct. 3 in Rostov-on-Don.

"The market is very promising for us," Movchan said.

Kingfisher's Russian sales are rising "marginally faster" than the local home improvement market, he said.

The country's housing construction is showing "phenomenal growth" this year after climbing 15 percent in 2006, Movchan said. The local do-it-yourself market, which Kingfisher estimates to be worth 13 billion euros ($17.8 billion), is growing faster than the retail industry's 12 percent, he added.