Ikea has said it "deeply regrets" the fact that some of its suppliers used forced prison labour in communist East Germany over two decades ago.

The Swedish furniture giant said it never condoned the use of forced labour.

But an independent report showed it failed to properly vet how its suppliers were manufacturing furniture for the company at the time.

Ikea commissioned auditors Ernst & Young to look into allegations that it benefited from the use of forced labour by East German prisoners, some of whom were political dissidents.

The report, released in Berlin, concluded that Ikea managers "were aware of the possibility that political prisoners would be used in the production of Ikea products in the former GDR" but that measures to prevent this were insufficient.