House of Fraser saw its best-ever festive period, thanks to record sales in the fortnight before Christmas.
Like for like sales for the six weeks to January 5 were up 6.3% on last year, with fashion and beauty being highlighted as particularly strong performers.
House brands also did well, with sales up 10% on 2011.
The Christmas performance has helped boost HoF’s initial fourth quarter figures, which are up 5.2% for the first 10 weeks.
HoF chairman Don McCarthy said the strength of sales demonstrated “the success of our strategy to continuously improve our online proposition, develop both our house brands and fashion credentials, and invest in our stores to give our customer the best possible shopping experience.”
He added: “There is no doubt that 2012 was a challenging year in retail and it remains difficult to predict when economic conditions and consumer sentiment will improve. However, with the strong sales performance in the period and a close focus on margins and operational efficiencies, we expect to report growth in full year earnings in line with previous indications.
“Given the sales performance, we also expect to finish the year with a cleaner stock position and are well placed to deliver further growth in 2013.”