Asda beat its own sales and profit targets for 2007, according to its US parent company Wal-Mart.

Full-year like-for-like sales excluding fuel were up in the “mid single digits”, with total sales increasing in the “high single digits”. The chain has also started 2008 with "mid single digit" like-for-like growth.

Asda also achieved some of the highest sales volumes across the Wal-Mart global business, according to Wal-Mart vice-chairman Mike Duke.

"During the year, Asda was a winner in the UK, being the fastest growing of the big four retailers,” he said.

“In fact, Asda achieved above-market average growth every single month. Asda has now added almost two million customers and 50 basis points of market share since the start of 2006."

Asda president and CEO, Andy Bond added: "2007 was a vintage year for Asda. By exceeding all of our targets for the year we were able to share a £21m bonus pot with more than 127,000 store and depot colleagues.

"Although 2008 will be a tougher year for consumers, with increasing energy costs and inflationary pressures on core items, we, along with other retailers, have a responsibility to keep a lid on inflation.”

Wal-Mart reported a 5.8% increase in full-year profit to $12.9bn (£6.6bn) on sales up 8.7% at $375bn (£193bn).