DUESSELDORF, Germany — Canadian department store operator Hudson’s Bay Co said on Friday it planned to invest around 400 million euros (US$425 million) in Europe this year in a bid to grow its sales there by 20 per cent over the next two years.

Profits in Europe will grow even faster than sales, the group’s Chief Executive Jerry Storch said.

Hudson’s Bay, the owner of Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor, had on Thursday unexpectedly named a new chief of its European business and said it was looking at a “major reinvention” of its business operations.

Storch on Friday poured cold water on speculation that Hudson’s Bay was considering a sale of the Kaufhof chain of German department stores, saying such rumours were “absurd.”

Asked about reports that Hudson’s Bay was in exploratory talks with debt-laden luxury retailer Neiman Marcus Group, Chairman Richard Baker said the group was interested in consolidation.

If there were opportunities for takeovers that were a good fit for the group, then Hudson’s Bay would consider them, he added.

© Thomson Reuters 2017