German retail group Metro is in talks to sell its Extra supermarket chain, Reuters has reported, citing a financial source.

According to the report, a deal could be completed by the end of the year, with interested parties said to include financial and strategic investors from Germany and elsewhere.

Metro, which is Germany's largest retail concern, has made no comment on the report. But the company's shares have risen today by 3.6% to EUR63.45.

Metro informed staff at Extra in September that it was considering strategic options for the business, and there had been speculation that a competitor, such as Edeka or Rewe, might be looking to buy the 270-store supermarket operation.