Asda is to take on high street rival Boots with a £7m facelift of its health and beauty departments.

The news coincides with the release of Boots’ preliminary results yesterday which revealed that group profits before tax and exceptionals were down 11.4% to £481m for 2004.

Asda said that all of its 278 health and beauty departments would be upgraded with state-of-the-art shelving, graphics and lighting.

The retailer will also add over 1,000 new products to the departments, including designer haircare, premium skincare and electrical beauty products in order to “turn up the heat on its high street rival”.