RUSSIA: X5 Retail Group has reported a 5% rise in like-for-like sales for the first nine months of 2010. Despite the tough environment, third-quarter net retail sales rose 24% to £1.6n year-on-year with like-for-like sales up 6%.

"Top-line growth is being driven by strong sales and record new store openings in our soft discounter segment," said CEO Lev Khasis.

BULGARIA: Bulgarian prime minister Boyko Borisov opened a new logistics centre for Lidl last week as the German group accelerated its expansion in the country. The 380,000 sq ft centre in Sofia will create more than 150 new jobs.

The number of people employed by Lidl Bulgaria will rise fivefold by Christmas with the opening of stores in 25 municipalities. Lidl recently got the regulatory green light to acquire the Bulgarian stores of German discount chain Plus.

AUSTRALIA: Woolworths has completed an AUS$704m (£435m) off-market share buyback with overwhelming shareholder support. The grocery giant said the final buyback price was AUS$25.62 per share after 27.5 million shares were bought from shareholders who tendered their shares at a 14% discount or as final price tenders. The buyback happened as Woolworths and rival retail giant Coles came under attack by US giant Costco for allegedly attempting to slow its expansion in Australia.

US: Dean Foods has appointed Chris Silva to the new role of chief commercial officer. Silva is currently president of the group's Morningstar division, which distributes milk, creamer, and cultured dairy products. His appointment follows the departure of fresh dairy direct division president Harrald Kroeker.

SYRIA: French retailer Monoprix has opened its first store in Damascus following a franchise agreement with Lebanese group Admic. A second store will open in Aleppo this month and the agreement could also be extended to Jordan. Monoprix has already boosted its expansion overseas through partnership agreements in Tunisia, Andorra and Mauritius and is looking to add Qatar to the list.