Earnings at fashion and lifestyle retailer Fat Face fell more than 4 per cent in the 26 weeks to November 29 despite sales growth of 1.8 per cent for the period.

Sales were lifted over Christmas by a last minute rush in the four days before Christmas, increasing 3 per cent in the five weeks to January 3.

Although no like-for-like figures were given the retailer said that EBITDA fell to £11.8m in the 26 weeks to November 29 compared with £12.3m the year before.

Fat Face said that margins were maintained at last year’s level through good stock management and less discounting.

Its home shopping division also performed well over the Christmas period with double-digit increases on the year.

Fat Face chief executive Louise Barnes said: “These are some of the harshest conditions in retail. Fat Face has delivered a resilient and creditable performance in a market depressed by falling consumer confidence and more general worries about the state of the economy and job prospects. In spite of these conditions, we grew sales and by maintaining tight cost control we have gone a long way to protecting our bottom line.”

She said that although the next six months would be more challenging she believed that the strength of the Fat Face brand would help it to weather the storm.