Two years after its hugely disruptive megamerger with Promodès, Carrefour has reassured analysts that it has not taken its eye off the ball, with promises of an acceleration in its new store opening programme. Carrefour has not given precise figures, but indicated new store openings could at least double "in the medium term," with up to 75 new stores a year. Last year, it opened just 29. There had been concerns that Carrefour was neglecting its international business, letting Tesco overtake it in South Korea and Thailand, as management time was devoted to resolving domestic problems. However, with cost savings from the Promodès merger now coming through, problems in China resolved and things turning around in Brazil and Belgium, Carrefour has the cash and the management resources to turn its attention back towards markets it has neglected, said analysts. Schroder Salomon Smith Barney analysts said more encouraging noises had started coming out of Carrefour in recent weeks. "Carrefour is increasingly speaking the language that the stock market likes to hear," said one. "But the key issue is its long-term capacity and ability to grow sales organically and to compete successfully internationally." {{NEWS }}