Tesco, the UK's leading supermarket operator, is going from strength to strength in Thailand and expects to open a further 17 hypermarkets by 2004. The group currently operates 33 hypermarkets in Thailand, a market it entered by buying the Lotus chain of retail outlets in the late 1990s. Tesco has invested some 44 million baht (US$1.03bn) in its Thai operations since its 1998 arrival, and partners with local agribusiness conglomerate Charoen Pokphand.