Aldi's UK business enjoyed a sales uplift of 12.1% last year, boosted by strong sales of fresh produce, the company revealed this week.

The discount chain said it had recorded "satisfactory trading for Christmas at the end of a very strong year for sales". Volume sales of fresh vegetables rose fivefold year-on-year in 2007.

Sales of luxury items over the festive period had been particularly good as shoppers sought out bargains, the company said. "We saw a huge increase in sales of fine wines, Champagne and Specially Selected seasonal food lines," said Paul Foley, UK MD. "We sold 60,000 bottles of Champagne, half a million boxes of truffles chocolates and more than 50,000 lobsters. And our 100%-British fresh turkey crowns increased the number of turkeys sold by almost fourfold compared with last year."

n Aldi rival Lidl has pledged to focus more on brands. It has agreed to list Weight-Watchers, which now joins Hellmann's, Walkers, Robinsons and Flora.