Seven-Eleven has said that it will slow the expansion of its Lotus Supercentres in China this year, due to operational losses and stiff competition.

Deputy chief executive Pittaya Jearavisithul told the Bangkok Post that the company would open ten new outlets in Shanghai this year, compared with the 15 it opened last year. The new outlets will bring the total number of Lotus Supercentres to 48.

Pittaya said that the company made a loss last year due to the competitive nature of the market from local companies and international corporations such as Carrefour and Wal-Mart.

The company still sees potential in Shanghai, with a 33.3% growth rate last year. 
“We are not worried about the performance in Shanghai. It’s quite normal for new stores to post losses during the first stage of opening,” said Pittaya. The company expects its Chinese operations to turn to profit this year.