German discounter Aldi has revealed plans to invest in UK store expansion over the next year as the division recorded a return to full-year profit.

The discounter today (1 October) said it is planning to invest GBP181m (US$292m) in the opening of 40 new stores by the end of 2013, taking its total number of UK stores to over 500.

This will see the creation of 4,500 jobs in 2012, it said.

Aldi opened 29 stores in 2011 and completed a major store refurbishment programme.

The investment comes on the back of a return to profit for the discount retailer.

In accounts filed at Companies House today, for the year ending 31 December 2011, Aldi revealed a post-tax profit of GBP57.8m in the UK, compared to a GBP56 loss a year-earlier when it was hit by a GBP58.5m property write-down.

The retailer attributed the growth to the development of its bakery, fresh meat and fruit & vegetables ranges and responding to consumer needs.

Operating profit in the 12 months jumped from GBP18.7m to GBP102.9m in the period, while turnover climbed 29% to reach GBP2.76bn.