Pets at Home has reported a “strong” Christmas quarter when momentum at its retail business “accelerated”.

At group level the specialist retailer’s sales climbed 5.1% like-for-like in the 12 weeks to January 3.

Pets at Home said retail like-for-like sales rose 4.7% while its veterinary business generated a like-for-like increase of 9.1%.

Group revenue rose 6.3% to £237.2m in the period. Retail sales climbed 5.5% to £213.4m, including omnichannel revenue up 41.5% to £19m. At the vets business revenue was ahead 13.6% to £23.8m.

The retailer reported that the pet care market “remains resilient” and the “recalibration” of the veterinary division “is making progress and is on track”.

Pets at Home chief executive Peter Pritchard said: “Momentum in retail accelerated over the festive period, culminating in the biggest trading day of our entire history on the Saturday before Christmas.

“Our omnichannel business delivered exceptional performance, benefiting from investments made earlier in the year, including a new mobile website.

“We saw good customer revenue growth across our entire Vet Group. In November, we reiterated the big opportunity to accelerate the maturity of our vet practices, but this needs to be achieved in a more sustainable way.

“As such, I am particularly pleased with how the recalibration of the Vet Group is taking shape; the engagement from joint venture partners has been positive and we have made good progress in our discussions with buyback practices.

“We are working closely across the group to maximise our assets and data as a pet care business, delivering initiatives that are resulting in an even better experience for customers.

“With the executive team appointments now complete, we enter 2019 with growing momentum and we are well placed to deliver on our plans and commitments.”