Tesco has revealed plans to quadruple its sales in China to GBP4bn (US$6.41bn) a year over the next five years.

The retailer plans to double the number of hypermarkets it has in China to over 200, which it said is similar to the number of Extra stores it runs in the UK, while tripling the number of customers per week to around 12m.

Tesco announced yesterday (21 November) that it plans to improve its profitability in China through investing in centralised distribution, private label, direct sourcing and using customer data from Dunnhumby insight.

Tesco's comments came as part of an investor summit focusing on the UK retailer's operations in Asia.

In South Korea, Tesco is aiming to grow its selling space at a 9% compound annual rate to 1.46m square metres by 2013/14. Tesco is looking to open food-focused superstores and a smaller Express Mini format, as well as considering convenience stores, "value" stores and electronics shops.

The company is forecasting 50% annual compound sales growth to over GBP200m by 2013/14, while working to become a multi-channel online player in South Korea.

The plans came as Tesco revealed its international operations are becoming increasingly important to the business. The retailer said 31% of annual sales and 22% of annual profits were coming from its international operations, against 10% and 5%, respectively, ten years ago.