Asda operating profits were up 18.2% to £993.9m last year despite the tough market conditions.

Group revenues increased 2.1% to £23.3bn and like-for-likes were up 0.6%

The grocer’s strong performance on earnings comes amid a challenging market that has seen Morrisons post a huge loss and Tesco’s full year profit fall, both in the year to February.

Asda said it was “another tough year for our customers with low wage growth and increases in costs such as utilities and essential item price inflation exerting pressure on disposable incomes”.

It said it “strengthened” its price leadership in the year through the development of its Price Lock scheme.

In documents filed at Companies House, Asda said it opened 15 new stores in the year, adding 468,000 sq ft of space.

Asda, which is the only one of the big four to have reported increases in market share in recent months, said ecommerce “delivered strong growth” last year. The retailer will focus its expansion plans on its online offer as well as pushing into London and the South East with stores.

The company’s highest paid director, thought to be chief executive Andy Clarke, had a total remuneration of £1.765m in 2013, down from £1.80m in 2012.