Carrefour has reported a 6.6% increase in full-year sales to E77.901bn (£53.1bn), on net profit up 58% at E2.268bn (£1.545bn), as its chairman and former Marks & Spencer's boss Luc Vandevelde resigns.

Vandevelde's resignation follows increasing speculation that the French retailer could be the subject of a takeover.

This week, investment firms Groupe Arnault and Colony Capital revealed they had acquired 64 million shares in the chain, taking their stake to 9.8%.

Vandevelde will be replaced by Robert Halley, whose family owns 13% of Carrefour.

“The supervisory board unanimously reaffirms its confidence in the management board and president Jose Luis Duran to continue the strategy which has been developed for two years,” the group said in a statement.