Up-for-sale beds retailer Dreams has recorded a 7.2% rise in like-for-like sales over Christmas and New Year.

The retailer reported total sales rose 8% in December and said it had enjoyed its strongest ever December and New Year sales performance in the four weeks to January 7, 2013.

Total sales for the year increased by 2% and like-for-like sales rose 1%.

Online sales rocketed 88% in the Christmas period, significantly ahead of Dreams’ expectations. Online sales rose 117% during the year.

The struggling beds retailer, put up for sale in December, has attracted interest from RBS Equity Finance, the private equity division of the bank, which is also a lender to the retailer.

Ernst & Young is conducting the sale process of the retailer.

Dreams has invested £2m in its store estate in the last year to improve ranges and lower prices.

Dreams chief executive Nick Worthington said: “We are pleased with this sales performance which represents our strongest ever trading over the crucial Christmas and New Year period.

“While 2012 was a challenging year in retail, Dreams is now benefitting from a number of initiatives we put in place, enabling us to grow market share.

“Looking ahead, we continue to have constructive discussions with our stakeholders and we continue to focus on providing financial stability for the future of the business. The strength of the Dreams brand and its market position has attracted considerable interest from many parties.

“As a result we have decided to run a formal process to select the most appropriate partner who can help Dreams build on our current performance to realise its future potential.”

He added: “Whilst the economic environment remains unquestionably challenging, we remain vigilant in the management of our costs, cash and margin, and continue to enhance our customer proposition. As such, we are confident of maintaining our strong performance in the year ahead.”