Sportsmaster, a Russian-based sports department store chain, has announced plans to expand into the provinces.

By 2005, the company intends to bring the number of its stores to 35, thereby trebling or even quadrupling its annual turnover. The company will retain its presence on the Moscow market. Next year, the company plans to open five or six more stores in Moscow.

Within the next two years, Sportsmaster intends to put $20m into the project, and expects to recoup the investment within three to four years. Dmitry Shangin, director general of Sportsmaster, expects outside investors to take on half of the project cost.