Foster's Group has refused to comment on reports that it is in talks with an Indian brewer to expand its presence in the fast-growing beer market.

Reports in India earlier this week had claimed that Foster's had begun negotiations on a bottling agreement with Crown Breweries, a greenfield brewery being built in the state of Andhra Pradesh.

However, a spokesman for Foster's refused to be drawn on any plans to strengthen its foothold in India.

"While we regularly speak with potential partners, suppliers and so on, we have a policy of not commenting on commercial discussions," a spokesman told just-drinks today (25 January).

The spokesman said Foster's was focusing on expanding capacity at its existing plant in Maharashtra, where the company has had its Indian base since 1998.

He added: "The operation is profitable and the Foster's brand has gone from strength to strength, continuing to grow year-on-year - up over 20% in 2005.

"Continuing to build the Foster's Lager brand will remain the key focus going forward and the major driver of value growth."