Carrefour, the French retailer, plans to double the number of stores it has in Malaysia by 2012.

Guillaume de Colonges, head of Carrefour's operations in Malaysia, told the local press today (16 November) that the company hoped to take its business in the country from 16 to 20 stores by the end of the year - and then build to 40 by 2012.

"We want to do in three years what we took 15 years to do before," de Colonges told the local Business Times newspaper.

Tesco and pan-Asian retailer Dairy Farm International Holdings remain ahead of Carrefour in Malaysia in terms of number of stores.

De Colonges added that he sees Carrefour's revenue in Malaysia rising by a fifth in 2009; turnover in the country climbed 20.5% in 2008.

"In the first half, Carrefour had some difficulties. But, in the past few weeks since Ramadhan, we have been experiencing some improvement in our business," he told the newspaper.

When contacted by just-food, the world's second-largest retailer said it had "no further comment" to make on its ambitions in Malaysia.