Carrefour has insisted it is pursuing expansion in the Indian market both in the cash-and-carry and consumer retail sectors.

"Carrefour Group [continues to] pursue its negotiations in India with potential partners," a spokesperson for the French retail giant told just-food.

"The group's objective remains to be present first and foremost in the cash-and-carry [segment], as the law allows, and also to find a partner," the spokesperson said.

Current Indian legislation has blocked the entry of foreign multi-brand retailers - such as Wal-Mart, Carrefour and Tesco - into the consumer retail market. Multi-brand retailers are only allowed to operate wholesale businesses or work with an Indian partner through franchise and licensing agreements.

Carrefour declined to comment on reports that it has delayed its plans to enter the market by "at least a year".

"The group makes no comment on the negotiations and does not communicate on the name of its potential partners," the spokesperson said.