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Last Updated: Friday, 24 February 2006, 12:48 GMT
Carrefour boosts China presence
Shoppers in Shanghai
China's retail market is booming
A jump in sales at Carrefour's stores in China helped boost the French retail giant in Asia's second-biggest retail market.

Carrefour sales rose by 25% to 17.4bn yuan ($2.2bn; 1.3bn) in 2005, making it China's ninth-biggest retailer by sales, the Commerce Ministry said.

German retailer Metro was another strong performer, with sales up 19%.

But Wal-Mart, the world's biggest retailer, failed to make the ministry's list of China's top 30 retailers.

Foreign interest

In total, the combined sales of China's 30 leading retailers jumped by 31% in 2005 to 491bn yuan, the Commerce Ministry reported.

Beijing has been keen to fuel growth through private consumption, a move which has increasingly attracted overseas investors.

Carrefour, which is the world's second-biggest retailer, increased the number of its stores in China to 78 last year, the Commerce Ministry.

But despite the growth in foreign investment, Chinese retailers remained dominant in their home market.

Shanghai Brilliance was China's biggest retailer, with sales of 72.1bn yuan in 2005, the ministry said.

China is Asia's second-biggest retail market after Japan.

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