Booths has hailed a “strong” finish to 2018 after reporting increases in both sales and profits during the festive period.

The upmarket grocer said sales climbed 3.3% in the three weeks to January 5, while profits grew 4.5% year on year. 

Booths said “traditional Christmas favourites” performed strongly with “record sales” of turkey and trimmings following a 10% uplift on Christmas 2017. 

The Northern chain also hailed “impressive” 15% growth in its click-and-collect service over the Christmas period.

Its ranges of wines, craft beers and spirits also sold well. Booths’ own-brand Prosecco was the biggest selling wine, while sales of Malbec jumped 50%. The retailer sold more than 65,000 bottles of gin and half a million bottles of ale and lager during the period.

Chair and chief executive Edwin Booth said: “Booths performed very well in a highly competitive market over Christmas. We focused on offering the very best traditional Christmas food and drink with flair and purpose.

“Customers trust Booths for quality, service, knowledge and our commitment to finding the very best suppliers. I’m delighted with our Christmas performance and the positive momentum that we are achieving throughout the business.”

The Christmas trading figures come as the 170-year-old retailer continues its turnaround bid. The chain, dubbed the ‘Waitrose of the North’, ended 2017 with annual losses of £14.8m and was reportedly seeking potential buyers.

In October, Booths said it had more than halved its pre-tax losses to £5.5m in the year to March 31, and revealed plans to “transform the business”.