Matalan has recorded a rise in total revenue over its peak Christmas trading period, despite a slight dip in its full-price sales performance.

In the five-week period to December 29, 2018, Matalan posted a total sales increase of 4% to £148m. In-store sales rose 1.6% and more than 33.3% online.

Full-price sales dipped slightly by 0.5% over the festive period.

Chief executive Jason Hargreaves said Matalan had a “strong” Christmas trading period and put its success down to a “planned increase in our promotional sales mix” and targeted use of its customer database.

“In the run-up to Christmas the market became increasingly distressed, and we benefited from a planned increase in our promotional sales mix. We also tactically used our database of 12 million active customers to target exclusive offers and discounts in further support of the trade plan,” he said.

“Growing sales over Christmas by 4%, including 33% growth online, without material dilution to our full-price position is a testament to the strength and relevance of our offer. Savvy customers again proved that they will always seek out real value.”

Third-quarter full-price sales rise

Matalan also posted financial results for the quarter to November 24, 2018. Full-price sales in the period increased by 7.3%, while total revenue rose by 4.9% to £308.3m.

However, EBITDA in the quarter fell to £40m from £44.9m in the comparable period in the previous year. Matalan had a closing cash position of £91.2m after refinancing.

Hargreaves put the fall in EBITDA down to the “impact of our full-year currency headwind falling in the quarter, at £16m”.

He said that while Matalan remains “cautious for the year ahead in what we expect to be a very tough market, our approach is clearly working”, and that the company remains focused on its “growth strategy” moving into the new year.

Matalan expects to report full-year EBITDA of between £100m and £102m.