Reports that US retail giant Wal-Mart intends to move into the Hungarian market through the acquisition of the Louis Delhaize chain of stores in the late spring have been circulating in the Hungarian press.

The lucrative Hungarian grocery market has a mature sales sector driven by the presence of international operators. The UK’s Tesco is the market leader, while Carrefour, Metro, Ahold and Lidl are well represented.

Belgium Louis Delhaize is the fifth-largest retail company with net sales of US$1,07bn in 2004 and operates stores under the Cora, Profi, Alfa and Match banners.