Wal-Mart's UK subsidiary, Asda, raised its sales by 13% and its profits by 6% last year, according to previously unpublished company accounts.

Since its 1999 acquisition by the US giant, Asda has not disclosed its profits figures. However, the company is obliged to report the details in the accounts it files with Companies House.

Turnover rose by 13% to £12.1bn (US$20.9bn) in 2002, reported the Guardian newspaper. Operating profits improved by 24% to £588m. However, accounting rules related to share options for directors and staff leave profits up 6% to £546m.

Non-food has boosted the company's sales figures, notably the George clothing line and DIY products.