Budget supermarket chain Aldi has revealed a lift in UK sales of £2.73bn in the year to December 2011.

The privately-owned German firm, which operates around 500 UK stores, has seen a 30% rise in group turnover to £2.8bn and reported its operating profits for the period rose from £18.7m to £102.9m – a total increase of 450%.

Aldi also revealed that bakery sales were up by 40%, as well as sales of fresh meat doubling during the period and fruit and veg sales receiving a 48% lift.

The company’s UK arm, run by joint group managing directors Matthew Barnes and Roman Heini, has opened 29 stores during 2011 at a rate of more than two a month. It has revealed plans to open a further 40 sites by the end of 2013. 

Barnes said: “We’re constantly looking at what we do and innovating in line with consumer demand. This has seen us expand our product range by 30%, source the vast majority of produce from UK-based companies and make changes such as introducing trolleys with baby seats, baskets and more premium products, like fillet steak.

“People are seeing the stand-out awards that we’re winning, such as Which? Magazine Best Supermarket of the Year.”

Heini said: “We’re now sourcing around two-thirds of our core range from UK suppliers. Consumers are attracted to Aldi by our brand-matched quality products and keep returning to our stores when they realise their weekly shop can cost around a third less than in the big supermarkets.”

Aldi has managed to increase its market share by 54.1% year-on-year, despite only accounting for 4.1% of total market share in terms of grocery sales.

Looking ahead, the firm claims it will be creating 4,500 jobs in the UK in 2012 and will be looking to double the number of stores to around 1,000 over the next 10 years.