Tesco was named the world's fifth biggest retailer - in the week it racked up profits of more than £2 billion.

The supermarket giant, which posted a 17 per cent increase in annual profits, moved up one place in the Global Powers of Retailing Report, an annual survey produced by business advisory firm Deloitte and covering the period from July 2004 to June 2005.

Rival Sainsbury's was listed as the second largest UK retailer at 27th in the world while Morrisons takes third place and 31st place globally.

Morrisons was the fastest growing retailer in the UK - seventh in the world - after its merger with Safe-way catapulted it from eighth place in the UK listing.

Marks & Spencer and B&Q owner Kingfisher come third and fourth - hitting spot 46 and 47 in the global listing.

Kingfisher has moved down from third spot two years ago triggered by Kesa, Woolworths and Superdrug spinning off from the business.

Jane Whitlock, partner in charge of consumer business at Deloitte in Birmingham said: "The list of the biggest retailers in the UK, and indeed the list of the biggest retailers in the world are both dominated by the grocers.

"Expansion by the grocers into new areas such as clothing, electronics, homewares, entertainment and financial services means the term 'the grocer' is fast becoming an old outdated concept and almost a legacy term.

"We no longer see these big players as grocers, instead they've become mass merchandisers seeking to cater for almost every consumer need.

She added that 2005 was tough for retailers on a global scale although over-all retail sales for the top 250 grew by eight per cent.

"We expect it to get worse before it gets better," she said. "With the host of economic trends squeezing discretionary spend and consumer confidence weakening, we expect sales growth this year to be closer to five per cent."

Deloitte said Tesco's success was down to its growth strategy and because it has seen the potential of emerging markets in a competitive UK environment.

Clothing retailer Next and music and entertainment chain HMV entered the UK top 20 listing for the first time while telecoms firm Carphone Warehouse was the second fastest growing UK retailer and came 22nd on the list.

Staffordshire entrepreneur John Caudwell saw his Phones4U business come in 233rd place globally.

The world's largest retailer remains Wal-Mart followed by French super-market group Carrefour and US home improvement chain The Home Depot.