Peacocks Group, the fashion retail group that operates value chain Peacocks and mature womenswear business Bonmarche, said that EBITDA and sales rose across the group last year.

Group EBITDA was £77.2m in the 53 weeks to April 3, 2010, compared with £64m in the 52 weeks to March 28, 2009.

Group sales during the year were £720.9m, up from £679.1m the year before Companies House documents showed. The strong performance was driven by a “golden quarter” in the run-up to Christmas 2009, strong trend-led ranges from Peacocks and the effect of shoppers trading down in the downturn.

At Peacocks, which said it added between 30 and 50 new womenswear lines in store every week during the period to up its fashion credentials, total sales rose 7.4% to £526.8m in the year, a like-for-like decrease of 0.4%. Like-for-like margin rose 1.6%.

Online sales jumped 70% at the value chain after it added menswear and lingerie to the mix available.

As of April 3, Peacocks had 548 stores worldwide and opened 30 stores during the year. It had 89 worldwide franchises and said that Russia and Ukraine had performed well.

Total retail sales at Bonmarche, rose 2.9% to £194.2m, representing a 0.8% like-for-like drop. The group said that better control of markdown meant that like-for-like margin increased by 2.9%. As of April 3 Bonmarche had 387 stores.

It is understood that both businesses have traded strongly since the year end.

The group, which declined to comment on Christmas 2010 trading, said that group finance director Mike Killick has stepped down. Chief executive Richard Kirk said that the group was seeking a replacement and that group financial controller Roy Ellis would take on the role in the interim.

Killick had been at the business for 10 years and has left to pursue other ventures.