Garden Centre Group, the 121-store business formerly known as Wyevale, has reported a “terrific” Christmas.

The retailer posted flat sales of £26m in the five weeks to December 27 after focusing on improved profitability and cash generation.

Gross profit rose by 17% to £14m in the period and gross margins jumped 50%.

All stores have now been rebranded and Garden Centre Group’s corporate structure has been simplified. The retailer reported that its credit rating has improved as a result of action taken and “we are seeing credit insurance being reinstated among our suppliers.”

Star Christmas products included trees, which climbed 7%, and wild bird food, up 8% helped by the cold weather. Restaurant sales advanced 10%.

Garden Centre Group chief executive Nicholas Marshall said: “Despite the challenging weather conditions and economic climate, our new strategy has enabled us to improve significantly our profitability over the Christmas period – we are delighted with our performance.”