Carrefour plans to expand its reach from 236 hypermarkets in 73 cities to 100 Chinese cities in three years and to open more than 20 hypermarkets every year on the Chinese mainland.

Sales in the Chinese mainland increased 4.7% in the third quarter year-on-year and the like-for-like sales in the market saw a 1.1% rise, or the second consecutive quarterly growth.

French hypermarket sales returned to growth in the third quarter while China also improved, further reassuring investors about chief executive Georges Plassat’s ability to revive the world’s second-largest retailer.

Third-quarter sales ending September 30 were 21.11 billion euros and rose 2.7% year-on-year with for like-for-like growth of 3.1 percent, excluding fuel.

Growth in Brazil, Carrefour’s largest market after France, was robust in the quarter while austerity-hit Spain also confirmed the resilience seen in the previous quarter, Carrefour said, with solid growth in its domestic market as well as abroad. Brazil achieved like-for-like growth of 8.8% against 7.1% in the second quarter.

Carrefour is also reportedly targeting some 50 Drive grocery click and collect outlets in Belgium and the retailer operates both standalone Drives and Drives as adjuncts to existing stores.