French retail giant Carrefour has confirmed plans to increase its presence in China through expansion into 30 new cities over three years.

Carrefour has been scaling back in other parts of the world but has set an ambitious target for China, one of two key emerging markets for the retailer, alongside Brazil. 

In 2012, Carrefour recorded a 10.8% increase in operating revenues in China to EUR5.58bn (US$7.4bn). However, at constant exchange rates, like-for-like sales excluding fuel fell 5.1%.

When Carrefour reported its annual results in March, the retailer said it would increase its capital expenditure this year – with China one of the markets that would see more investment. “In China, in some of the larger towns and cities, we have to do something or we will be outdated compared to the competition,” CEO Georges Plassat said at the time.

The world’s second-largest retailer by revenue operates 220 hypermarkets in China across 65 cities.

In March, Carrefour opened its first hypermarket in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region to expand into lower tier cities. Its latest store, opened last month, was in the city of Nanchang, in the Jiangxi province, located in the south east of the country.