Asda will create 9,000 new jobs this year with a major £400 million store opening programme.
Parent company Wal-Mart said the UK-owned Asda chain exceeded both sales and profits targets in 2007, fuelling its expansion strategy.
Asda said 7,000 new jobs will be created over the next 12 months through the opening of up to 12 new Asda superstores, 10 Living stores and 12 extensions to existing outlets. A further 1,500 jobs will be created through the expansion of the grocer's home shopping and Asda Direct operations.
The continued roll-out of Asda’s pharmacy business will also create 500 new jobs, through the opening of 50 new Asda in-store pharmacies, taking the total to nearly 200.
Chief financial officer Judith McKenna said: "This major investment demonstrates our ongoing commitment to bringing low prices and fantastic service to even more people across the UK. We have an impressive track record of regenerating areas at the edge of and in town centres throughout the UK, showing our ongoing commitment to local communities."