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Dixons has unveiled ambitious plans to expand its electrical retail operation on the Continent. The UK retailer is increase the number of its PC City superstores in France from seven to as many as 100 stores, it announced today.

It is to enter two new markets with the opening of its first PC City store in Portugal. And it is to open two Electro World stores in Poland, a retail brand currently trading in Hungary and the Czech Republic.

Market watchers say Dixons' expansion into Europe makes sense since the UK is facing tough trading conditions. In January the retailer said it "remains cautious" about the prospects for consumer expenditure in the UK as economic pressures hit high street spending.

Dixons chief exec John Clare said today that the expansion of its international operation was an "important strategic move" that "underpins our leadership position in the European market".

"Approaching one third of our sales are generated in stores outside of the UK and we have plans for further growth in all the countries where we now have a presence," he said.

Two weeks ago Dixons announced it was considering expanding its electrical retailing empire to Russia and the Ukraine following the inking of a long-term co-operation deal with the Eldorado Group. The UK retailer has until 2011 to acquire the Russian consumer electronics retailing group for £1bn. ®

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