Tesco is planning to expand its presence in China next year by extending its reach along the full length of the eastern coast.

The retailer is moving into Shandong and Fujian provinces and said it would open more stores next year in Liaoning where Tesco has its base in China.

Tesco said like-for-like sales in China grew 8% in the 10 weeks to 1 November, compared with 14% in the first six months of the year. Malaysia was up 2% in the same 10-week period compared with 1% in the first half of 2008. South Korean sales fell 2% in the 10 weeks to 1 November, compared with a flat performance in the first half of the year.

"Management structures and the infrastructure are in place to drive a step-up in store openings," said Shore Capital analyst Clive Black. He added the opening programme would rise from about 10 per year to 30 "over an unspecified time frame".

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